Introduction</h5> Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an immune-mediated inflammatory disease of unknown etiology, which is characterized by chronic inflammatory infiltration of the synovium, leading to eventual cartilage and bone destruction ( Scott et al. 2010 ). In spite of significant improvements in the treatment of RA, there is still a need for the identification of new pathways involved in the modulation of inflammation in order to further increase efficacy, particularly in patients in whom the disease does not respond to current therapies.</P>Recently, the discovery of endocannabinoid system, especially two subtypes of cannabinoid receptors, has raised a great deal of interest in inflammatory diseases, including multiple sclerosis and RA ( Klein 2005 ). Two accredited types of cannabinoid receptors, cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2R), were discovered in the early 1990s ( Matsuda et al. 1990; Munro et al. 1993 ). CB1R exists primarily on central and peripheral neurons, and is associated with the psychoactive effects of cannabinoids. CB2R is predominantly expressed by cells of hematopoietic origin and is thought to mediate cannabinoid-induced immune modulation ( Howlett et al. 2002 ). The level of their expression is dependent on the activation state of the cell and the
Immunobiology – Elsevier
Published: Jun 1, 2015
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