The endocannabinoid system: no longer anonymous in the control of nitrergic signalling?

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“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a key cellular signalling system that has been implicated in the regulation of diverse cellular functions. Importantly, growing evidence suggests that the biological actions of the ECS may, in part, be mediated through its ability to regulate the production and/or release of nitric oxide, a ubiquitous bioactive molecule, which functions as a versatile signalling intermediate. Herein, we review and discuss evidence pertaining to ECS-mediated regulation of nitric oxide production, as well as the involvement of reactive nitrogen species in regulating ECS-induced signal transduction by highlighting emerging work supporting nitrergic modulation of ECS function. Importantly, the studies outlined reveal that interactions between the ECS and nitrergic signalling systems can be both stimulatory and inhibitory in nature, depending on cellular context. Moreover, such crosstalk may act to maintain proper cell function, whereas abnormalities in either system can undermine cellular homoeostasis and contribute to various pathologies associated with their dysregulation. Consequently, future studies targeting these signalling systems may provide new insights into the potential role of the ECS -: nitric oxide signalling axis in disease development and/or lead to the identification of novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of nitrosative stress-related neurological, cardiovascular, and metabolic disorders.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28130308

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