Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2009 Aug;30(8):411-20. Epub 2009 Jul 14.
The endocannabinoid system of the skin in health and disease: novel perspectives and therapeutic opportunities.
Bíró T, Tóth BI, Haskó G, Paus R, Pacher P.
Department of Physiology, University of Debrecen, Research Center for Molecular Medicine, Debrecen 4032, Hungary. firstname.lastname@example.org
The newly discovered endocannabinoid system (ECS; comprising the endogenous lipid mediators endocannabinoids present in virtually all tissues, their G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors, biosynthetic pathways and metabolizing enzymes) has been implicated in multiple regulatory functions both in health and disease. Recent studies have intriguingly suggested the existence of a functional ECS in the skin and implicated it in various biological processes (e.g. proliferation, growth, differentiation, apoptosis and cytokine, mediator or hormone production of various cell types of the skin and appendages, such as the hair follicle and sebaceous gland). It seems that the main physiological function of the cutaneous ECS is to constitutively control the proper and well-balanced proliferation, differentiation and survival, as well as immune competence and/or tolerance, of skin cells. The disruption of this delicate balance might facilitate the development of multiple pathological conditions and diseases of the skin (e.g. acne, seborrhea, allergic dermatitis, itch and pain, psoriasis, hair growth disorders, systemic sclerosis and cancer).