The classical endogenous cannabinoid (CB) system is composed of the endocannabinoid
signalling molecules, 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) and anandamide
(AEA) and their G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR), CB1 and CB2 which together
constitutes the endocannabinoid system (ECS). However, putative, novel lipid-sensing
CB receptors have recently been identified, including the orphan GPR55 and GPR18 receptors
that are regulated by cannabinoid-like molecules and interact with CB system.
CB receptors and associated orphan GPCRs are expressed at high levels in the immune
and/or central nervous systems (CNS) and regulate a number of neurophysiological
processes, including key events involved in neuroinflammation. As such, these receptors
have been identified as emerging therapeutic targets for a number of brain disorders in
which neuroinflammation is a key feature, including multiple sclerosis (MS) and Alzheimer’s disease
(AD). This review will consider the role of the wider cannabinoid receptor superfamily in mediating immune
function with a focus on the immune processes that contribute to neuroinflammatory conditions.
Keywords: Cannabinoid, endocannabinoid, GPR55, GPR18, inflammation, neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration.
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