Cannabinoids may have a therapeutic role in the treatment of autoimmune hepatitis. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Use of cannabinoids as a novel therapeutic modality against autoimmune hepatitis.
Vitam Horm. 2009;81:487-504. PMID: 19647124
Autoimmune hepatitis is a severe immune mediated chronic liver disease with a prevalence range between 50 and 200 cases per million in Western Europe and North America and mortality rates of up to 80% in untreated patients. The induction of CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors during liver injury and the potential involvement of endocannabinoids in the regulation of this process have sparked significant interest in further evaluating the role of cannabinoid systems during hepatic disease. Cannabinoids have been shown to possess significant immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties. Cannabinoid abuse has been shown to exacerbate liver fibrogenesis in patients with chronic hepatitis C infection involving CB1 receptor. Nonetheless, CB2 receptor activation may play a protective role during chronic liver diseases. Thus, differential targeting of cannabinoid receptors may provide novel therapeutic modality against autoimmune hepatitis. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on the role of endocannabinoids and exocannabinoids in the regulation of autoimmune hepatitis.