Microglial CB2 cannabinoid receptors are neuroprotective in Huntington’s disease excitotoxicity.


“Cannabinoid-derived drugs are promising agents for the development of novel neuroprotective strategies.

…in Huntington’s disease there is a very early downregulation of CB1 receptors in striatal neurons that, together with the undesirable psychoactive effects triggered by CB1 receptor activation, foster the search for alternative pharmacological treatments.

These findings support a pivotal role for CB2 receptors in attenuating microglial activation and preventing neurodegeneration that may pave the way to new therapeutic strategies for neuroprotection in Huntington’s disease as well as in other neurodegenerative disorders with a significant excitotoxic component.

Overall, the reduction of neuronal CB1 receptors and the upregulation of microglial CB2 receptors support a crucial role for the ECB system in the pathogenesis of Huntington’s disease.

The use of drugs targeting the ECB system via CB1 receptors aimed at restoring neurochemical alterations and palliating symptoms might constitute an interesting strategy for the management of Huntington’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders with a significant excitotoxicity component.”



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