Regulation of Stem Cells by the Endocannabinoid System

“The endocannabinoids, endogenous lipid mediators of related chemical structure to the prototype exogenous cannabinoid Δ9-THC found in marijuana, have emerged as important mediators that regulate central and peripheral neural functions as well as immune responses.

Endogenous and exogenous cannabinoid ligands bind to cannabinoid receptors: the predominant central cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and the peripheral cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2). CB1 and CB2 are members of the G-protein coupled receptor family.

Cannabinoids were shown to modulate the immune system and to affect the migration of blood cells, such as T-cells, monocytes and myeloid leukemia cells, through CB receptors.

Recent data indicate the potential role of cannabinoid ligands and receptors in the regulation of hematopoiesis and hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) migration and trafficking.

These studies may lead to clinical applications of cannabinoid-based compounds as new HSC-mobilizer agents for therapeutic intervention in bone marrow failure.”

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