The endocannabinoid system of the skin in health and disease: novel perspectives and therapeutic opportunities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Authors:
  • Tamás Bíró
  • Balázs I. Tóth
  • György Haskó
  • Ralf Paus
  • Pál Pacher

Abstract

The newly discovered endocannabinoid system (ECS; comprising the endogenous lipid mediators endocannabinoids present in virtually all tissues, their G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors, biosynthetic pathways and metabolizing enzymes) has been implicated in multiple regulatory functions both in health and disease. Recent studies have intriguingly suggested the existence of a functional ECS in the skin and implicated it in various biological processes (e.g. proliferation, growth, differentiation, apoptosis and cytokine, mediator or hormone production of various cell types of the skin and appendages, such as the hair follicle and sebaceous gland). It seems that the main physiological function of the cutaneous ECS is to constitutively control the proper and well-balanced proliferation, differentiation and survival, as well as immune competence and/or tolerance, of skin cells. The disruption of this delicate balance might facilitate the development of multiple pathological conditions and diseases of the skin (e.g. acne, seborrhea, allergic dermatitis, itch and pain, psoriasis, hair growth disorders, systemic sclerosis and cancer). © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-420
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in pharmacological sciences
Volume30
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009