About the endocannabinoids - Short outline

Cuculic-Defranceschi, Dubravka; Bontas, Ecaterina; Marchesan, Maria; Bartos, Daniela; Cioranu, Cristiana; Stoica, Victor; Macovei, Radu
September 2007
Maedica - a Journal of Clinical Medicine;2007, Vol. 2 Issue 3, p236
Academic Journal
Objectives: The vital roles of neuroendocrine systems - such as the sympathetic and the renin- angiotensin-aldosterone systems; parasympathetic nervous system and the endothelin have become increasingly evident. Nonetheless, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has been added to the list. The ECS consists of endogenous ligands and their receptors that act both peripherally and centrally to regulate body weight, particularly central or visceral obesity, and diverse metabolic processes. Therefore, ECS plays a decisive role in the level of cardiometabolic risk, especially in regard to the clustering of cardiovascular risk factors now grouped together as the cardiometabolic syndrome. Furthermore, an increasing amount of data highlights the role of the ECS in the stress response (by influencing the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis) and in the control of reproduction (by modifying gonadotropin release, fertility, and sexual behaviour). Cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, and the machinery for their synthesis and degradation represent the elements of novel endogenous signalling system, so-called endocannabinoid system, which is involved in a plethora of physiological functions. One important physiological role of endocannabinoids seems to be neuroprotection. Looking back, what is interesting about endocannabinoids as an anticonvulsant is, that we have not seen yet any indication of an excitatory effect on central nervous system, perhaps being unique as an anticonvulsant.


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