Therapeutic Potential of Cannabinoids in Schizophrenia

ISSN: 2212-3954 (Online)
ISSN: 1574-8898 (Print)


Volume 9, 3 Issues, 2014


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Editor-in-Chief:
Vincenzo Di Marzo
Istituto di Chimica Biomolecolare (I.C.B.)
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (C.N.R.)
Via Campi Flegrei 34
Pozzuoli, Napoli 80078
Italy


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Therapeutic Potential of Cannabinoids in Schizophrenia

Author(s): Jana Kucerova, Katarina Tabiova, Filippo Drago and Vincenzo Micale

Affiliation: CEITEC (Central European Institute of Technology) Masaryk University, Kamenice 5, 625 00 Brno, Czech Republic.

Abstract

Increasing evidence suggests a close relationship between the endocannabinoid system and schizophrenia. The endocannabinoid system comprises of two G protein-coupled receptors (the cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 [CB1 and CB2] for marijuana's psychoactive principle Δ 9-tetrahydrocannabinol), their endogenous small lipid ligands (namely anandamide [AEA] and 2-arachidonoylglycerol [2-AG], also known as endocannabinoids), and proteins for endocannabinoid biosynthesis and degradation. It has been suggested to be a pro-homeostatic and pleiotropic signalling system activated in a time- and tissue-specific manner during pathophysiological conditions. In the brain, activation of this system impacts the release of numerous neurotransmitters in various systems and cytokines from glial cells. Hence, the endocannabinoid system is strongly involved in neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia. Therefore, adolescence use of Cannabis may alter the endocannabinoid signalling and pose a potential environmental risk to develop psychosis. Consistently, preclinical and clinical studies have found a dysregulation in the endocannabinoid system such as changed expression of CB1 and CB2 receptors or altered levels of AEA and 2-AG . Thus, due to the partial efficacy of actual antipsychotics, compounds which modulate this system may provide a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of schizophrenia. The present article reviews current available knowledge on herbal, synthetic and endogenous cannabinoids with respect to the modulation of schizophrenic symptomatology. Furthermore, this review will be highlighting the therapeutic potential of cannabinoid-related compounds and presenting some promising patents targeting potential treatment options for schizophrenia.

Keywords: Δ 9-tetrahydrocannabinol, animal models, antipsychotics, cannabidiol, cannabis, CB receptors, endocannabinoid system, schizophrenia.

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Article Details

Volume: 9
Issue Number: 1
First Page: 13
Last Page: 25
Page Count: 13
DOI: 10.2174/1574889809666140307115532
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