“Increasing evidence focuses on the endocannabinoid system as a relevant player in the induction of aberrant synaptic plasticity and related addictive phenotype following chronic excessive alcohol drinking.
Besides, the endocannabinoid system is implicated in the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver disease.
Interestingly, whereas the involvement of CB1 cannabinoid receptors in alcohol rewarding properties is established, the central and peripheral action of CB2 cannabinoid signalling is still to be elucidated.
This review aims at giving the input to deepen knowledge on the role of the endocannabinoid system, highlighting the advancing evidence that suggests that CB1 and CB2 receptors may play opposite roles in the regulation of both the reinforcing properties of alcohol in the brain and the mechanisms responsible for cell injury and inflammation in the hepatic tissue.
The manipulation of the endocannabinoid system could represent a bi-faceted strategy to counteract alcohol-related dysfunction in central transmission and liver structural and functional disarrangement.”