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Review
. 2008 Jun;15(2):391-408.
doi: 10.1677/ERC-07-0258.

Endocannabinoids in Endocrine and Related Tumours

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Review

Endocannabinoids in Endocrine and Related Tumours

Maurizio Bifulco et al. Endocr Relat Cancer. .

Abstract

The 'endocannabinoid system', comprising the cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors, their endogenous ligands, endocannabinoids and the enzymes that regulate their biosynthesis and degradation, has drawn a great deal of scientist attention during the last two decades. The endocannabinoid system is involved in a broad range of functions and in a growing number of physiopathological conditions. Indeed, recent evidence indicates that endocannabinoids influence the intracellular events controlling the proliferation of numerous types of endocrine and related cancer cells, thereby leading to both in vitro and in vivo antitumour effects. In particular, they are able to inhibit cell growth, invasion and metastasis of thyroid, breast and prostate tumours. The chief events of endocannabinoids in cancer cell proliferation are reported highlighting the correspondent signalling involved in tumour processes: regulation of adenylyl cyclase, cyclic AMP-protein kinase-A pathway and MEK-extracellular signal-regulated kinase signalling cascade.

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