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Targeting the Endocannabinoid System to Treat Sepsis

  • JOEL SARDINHA1
  • CHRISTIAN LEHMANN2
  • MELANIE KELLY1

1,Department of Pharmacology Dalhousie University

2,Department of Anaesthesia Pain Management and Perioperative Medicine and Department of Microbiology and Immunology Dalhousie University

DOI: 10.22514/SV81.052013.1 Vol.8,Issue 1,May 2013 pp.9-14

Published: 01 May 2013

*Corresponding Author(s): CHRISTIAN LEHMANN E-mail: chlehmann@mac.com

Abstract

The endocannabinoid system represents a potential therapeutic target in sepsis due to the presence of cannabinoid receptors (CB2) on immune cells. In this review we discuss how various targets within the endocannabinoid system can be manipulated to treat the immune consequences of sepsis. One of the targets outlined are the endocannabinoid receptors and modulation of their activity through pharmacological agonists and antagonists. Another therapeutic target covered in this review is the modulation of the endocannabinoid degradative enzyme’s activity. Modulation of degradative enzyme activity can change the levels of endogenous cannabinoids thereby altering immune activity. Overall, activation of the CB2 receptors causes immunosuppression and can be beneficial during the hyperactivated immune state of sepsis, while suppression of the CB2 receptors may be beneficial during a hypoimmune septic state. 

Keywords

sepsis, endocannabi-noid system, inflammation, immune modulation

Cite and Share

JOEL SARDINHA,CHRISTIAN LEHMANN,MELANIE KELLY. Targeting the Endocannabinoid System to Treat Sepsis. Signa Vitae. 2013. 8(1);9-14.

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