An update on PPAR activation by cannabinoids

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Abstract

Some cannabinoids activate the different isoforms of PPARs (α, β and γ), as shown through the use of reporter gene assays, binding studies, selective antagonists and knockout studies. Activation of all isoforms, but primarily PPARα and γ, mediates some (but not all) of the analgesic, neuroprotective, neuronal function modulation, anti-inflammatory, metabolic, anti-tumour, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular effects of some cannabinoids, often in conjunction with activation of the more traditional target sites of action such as the cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors and the TRPV1 ion channel. PPARs also mediate some of the effects of inhibitors of endocannabinoid degradation or transport. Cannabinoids may be chaperoned to the PPARs by fatty acid binding proteins. The aims of this review are to update the evidence supporting PPAR activation by cannabinoids and to review the physiological responses to cannabinoids that are mediated, and not mediated, by PPAR activation.

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