The endocannabinoid system may play an important role in liver diseases. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Recent advances in the understanding of the role of the endocannabinoid system in liver diseases.
Dig Liver Dis. 2010 Oct 7. Epub 2010 Oct 7. PMID: 20934397
Department of Internal Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, Temple, TX, United States; Digestive Disease Research Center, Scott&White Hospital, Temple, TX, United States; Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China.
Endocannabinoids are ubiquitous signalling molecules that exert their effects through a number of specific cannabinoid receptors. Recent studies have indicated that this endocannabinoid system is involved in the pathophysiological processes associated with both acute and chronic liver diseases as well as in the complications that arise from these diseases such as hepatic encephalopathy and cardiac problems. Targeting this signalling system has been useful in ameliorating some of the symptoms and consequences in experimental models of these liver diseases. This review summarises the recent advances into our knowledge and understanding of endocannabinoids in liver diseases and highlights potential novel therapeutic strategies that may prove useful to treat these diseases.