Targeting Endocannabinoid Metabolism: an Arrow with Multiple Tips Against Multiple Sclerosis

ChemMedChem. 2020 Nov 4;15(21):1985-2003. doi: 10.1002/cmdc.202000310. Epub 2020 Sep 10.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, immune-mediated disease of the central nervous system. At present, there is no definitive cure, and the few available disease-modifying options display either poor efficacy or life-threatening side effects. There is clear evidence that relapsing-remitting clinical attacks in MS are driven by inflammatory demyelination and that the subsequent disease steps, being irresponsive to immunotherapy, result from neurodegeneration. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) stands halfway between three key pathomechanisms underlying MS, namely inflammation, neurodegeneration and oxidative stress, thus representing a kingpin for the identification of novel therapeutic targets in MS. This review summarizes the current state of the art in the field of endocannabinoid metabolism modulators and their in vivo effects on relevant animal models. We also highlight key molecular underpinnings of their therapeutic efficacy as well as the potential to turn them into promising clinical candidates.

Keywords: animal models; endocannabinoid; fatty acid amide hydrolas; monoacylglycerol lipas; multiple sclerosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endocannabinoids / chemistry
  • Endocannabinoids / metabolism
  • Endocannabinoids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Molecular Structure
  • Multiple Sclerosis / drug therapy*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / metabolism


  • Endocannabinoids