The endocannabinoid system and plant-derived cannabinoids in diabetes and diabetic complications

Bla Horvth, Partha Mukhopadhyay, Gyrgy Hask, Pl Pacher

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

73 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Oxidative stress and inflammation play critical roles in the development of diabetes and its complications. Recent studies provided compelling evidence that the newly discovered lipid signaling system (ie, the endocannabinoid system) may significantly influence reactive oxygen species production, inflammation, and subsequent tissue injury, in addition to its well-known metabolic effects and functions. The modulation of the activity of this system holds tremendous therapeutic potential in a wide range of diseases, ranging from cancer, pain, neurodegenerative, and cardiovascular diseases to obesity and metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and diabetic complications. This review focuses on the role of the endocannabinoid system in primary diabetes and its effects on various diabetic complications, such as diabetic cardiovascular dysfunction, nephropathy, retinopathy, and neuropathy, particularly highlighting the mechanisms beyond the metabolic consequences of the activation of the endocannabinoid system. The therapeutic potential of targeting the endocannabinoid system and certain plant-derived cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin, which are devoid of psychotropic effects and possess potent anti-inflammatory and/or antioxidant properties, in diabetes and diabetic complications is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-442
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Volume180
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2012

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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