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Cannabinoid receptor ligands as potential anticancer agents--high hopes for new therapies?
J Pharm Pharmacol 2009; 61(7):839-53JP

Abstract

OBJECTIVES

The endocannabinoid system is an endogenous lipid signalling network comprising arachidonic-acid-derived ligands, cannabinoid (CB) receptors, transporters and endocannabinoid degrading enzymes. The CB(1) receptor is predominantly expressed in neurons but is also co-expressed with the CB(2) receptor in peripheral tissues. In recent years, CB receptor ligands, including Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, have been proposed as potential anticancer agents.

KEY FINDINGS

This review critically discusses the pharmacology of CB receptor activation as a novel therapeutic anticancer strategy in terms of ligand selectivity, tissue specificity and potency. Intriguingly, antitumour effects mediated by cannabinoids are not confined to inhibition of cancer cell proliferation; cannabinoids also reduce angiogenesis, cell migration and metastasis, inhibit carcinogenesis and attenuate inflammatory processes. In the last decade several new selective CB(1) and CB(2) receptor agents have been described, but most studies in the area of cancer research have used non-selective CB ligands. Moreover, many of these ligands exert prominent CB receptor-independent pharmacological effects, such as activation of the G-protein-coupled receptor GPR55, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma and the transient receptor potential vanilloid channels.

SUMMARY

The role of the endocannabinoid system in tumourigenesis is still poorly understood and the molecular mechanisms of cannabinoid anticancer action need to be elucidated. The development of CB(2)-selective anticancer agents could be advantageous in light of the unwanted central effects exerted by CB(1) receptor ligands. Probably the most interesting question is whether cannabinoids could be useful in chemoprevention or in combination with established chemotherapeutic agents.

Authors+Show Affiliations

University Children's Hospital Divisions of Clinical Chemistry and Oncology, University of Zürich, Switzerland.No affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

19589225

Citation

Oesch, Susanne, and Jürg Gertsch. "Cannabinoid Receptor Ligands as Potential Anticancer Agents--high Hopes for New Therapies?" The Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, vol. 61, no. 7, 2009, pp. 839-53.
Oesch S, Gertsch J. Cannabinoid receptor ligands as potential anticancer agents--high hopes for new therapies? J Pharm Pharmacol. 2009;61(7):839-53.
Oesch, S., & Gertsch, J. (2009). Cannabinoid receptor ligands as potential anticancer agents--high hopes for new therapies? The Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 61(7), pp. 839-53. doi:10.1211/jpp/61.07.0002.
Oesch S, Gertsch J. Cannabinoid Receptor Ligands as Potential Anticancer Agents--high Hopes for New Therapies. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2009;61(7):839-53. PubMed PMID: 19589225.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Cannabinoid receptor ligands as potential anticancer agents--high hopes for new therapies? AU - Oesch,Susanne, AU - Gertsch,Jürg, PY - 2009/7/11/entrez PY - 2009/7/11/pubmed PY - 2009/8/27/medline SP - 839 EP - 53 JF - The Journal of pharmacy and pharmacology JO - J. Pharm. Pharmacol. VL - 61 IS - 7 N2 - OBJECTIVES: The endocannabinoid system is an endogenous lipid signalling network comprising arachidonic-acid-derived ligands, cannabinoid (CB) receptors, transporters and endocannabinoid degrading enzymes. The CB(1) receptor is predominantly expressed in neurons but is also co-expressed with the CB(2) receptor in peripheral tissues. In recent years, CB receptor ligands, including Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, have been proposed as potential anticancer agents. KEY FINDINGS: This review critically discusses the pharmacology of CB receptor activation as a novel therapeutic anticancer strategy in terms of ligand selectivity, tissue specificity and potency. Intriguingly, antitumour effects mediated by cannabinoids are not confined to inhibition of cancer cell proliferation; cannabinoids also reduce angiogenesis, cell migration and metastasis, inhibit carcinogenesis and attenuate inflammatory processes. In the last decade several new selective CB(1) and CB(2) receptor agents have been described, but most studies in the area of cancer research have used non-selective CB ligands. Moreover, many of these ligands exert prominent CB receptor-independent pharmacological effects, such as activation of the G-protein-coupled receptor GPR55, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma and the transient receptor potential vanilloid channels. SUMMARY: The role of the endocannabinoid system in tumourigenesis is still poorly understood and the molecular mechanisms of cannabinoid anticancer action need to be elucidated. The development of CB(2)-selective anticancer agents could be advantageous in light of the unwanted central effects exerted by CB(1) receptor ligands. Probably the most interesting question is whether cannabinoids could be useful in chemoprevention or in combination with established chemotherapeutic agents. SN - 0022-3573 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19589225/Cannabinoid_receptor_ligands_as_potential_anticancer_agents__high_hopes_for_new_therapies L2 - https://doi.org/10.1211/jpp/61.07.0002 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -