Pharmacotherapeutic modulation of the endocannabinoid signalling system in psychiatric disorders: drug-discovery strategies.Int Rev Psychiatry. 2009 Apr; 21(2):122-33.IR
Medicinal chemistry has produced small-molecule agents with drug-like character that potently and safely modulate the activity of discrete endocannabinoid system components as potential treatments for medical disorders, including various psychiatric conditions. Two cannabinoid (CB) receptors (CB1 and CB2) currently represent prime endocannabinoid-system therapeutic targets for ligands that either mimic endocannabinoid signalling processes and/or potentiate endocannabinoid-system activity (agonists) or attenuate pathologically heightened endocannabinoid-system transmission (antagonists). Two endocannabinoid deactivating enzymes, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and soluble monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL), are increasingly prominent targets for inhibitors that indirectly potentiate endocannabinoid-system signalling. Continued profiling of drug candidates in relevant disease models, identification of additional cannabinoid-related therapeutic targets, and validation of new pharmacological modes of endocannabinoid system modulation will undoubtedly invite further translational efforts in the cannabinoid field for treating psychiatric disorders and other medical conditions.