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The role of the endocannabinoid system in atherosclerosis

English title The role of the endocannabinoid system in atherosclerosis
Applicant Steffens Sabine
Number 116324
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Service de Cardiologie Département de Médecine Interne Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Cardiovascular Research
Start/End 01.05.2007 - 31.07.2010
Approved amount 260'000.00
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Keywords (3)

atherosclerosis; endocannabinoids; inflammation

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease that represents the primary cause of heart disease and stroke. A vast number of studies have highlighted the immunomodulatory properties of cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major psychoactive compound of marijuana, and its derivatives. The discovery of two membrane receptors that bind THC as well as endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids) including anandamide (AEA), 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), and others has led to the description of the endocannabinoid system. A whole signaling system has been identified composed of the two known receptors (CB1, CB2), endocannabinoids and enzymes for their biosynthesis and inactivation. Many different regulatory actions have been attributed to endocannabinoids, and their involvement in several pathophysiological conditions is subject of ongoing investigations. Today, it remains unclear whether endocannabinoid signaling plays a modulatory role in chronic inflammation ongoing during atherogenesis. Several studies demonstrating an implication of the endocannabinoid system in different inflammatory conditions support this hypothesis.The aims of the research proposal are to determine the role of the endocannabinoid system in the development of atherosclerosis and to identify potential new targets for therapeutic approaches. The proposed studies should provide a new mechanistic insight into the process of chronic inflammation ongoing during atherogenesis, and may suggest the endocannabinoid system as a novel target for prevention and effective therapeutic interventions for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
120672 Function and Regulation of Cannabinoid Receptors in Primary Monocytes and Osteoclasts 01.05.2008 Project funding
130732 The role of the endocannabinoid system in atherosclerosis 01.08.2010 Project funding