Potentiation of microglial endocannabinoid signaling alleviates neuroinflammation in Alzheimer's disease

Neuropeptides. 2021 Dec;90:102196. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2021.102196. Epub 2021 Sep 2.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) isaprogressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by chronic inflammation due to the presence of neurotoxic Aβ and tau proteins. Increased microglial activation and inflated immune response are the other factors to be considered in AD pathology. Microglial cells own biochemical machinery that synthesizes and release endocannabinoids. The exploitation of therapeutic actions of endocannabinoid system has newly emerged in the field of Alzheimer's disease. The activation of cannabinoid receptors/ cannabinoid system modulates inflammatory responses. This review assesses the association between the microglial endocannabinoid system and neuroinflammation in AD. The data supporting the anti-inflammatory role of pharmacological agents modulating cannabinoid system are also reviewed.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; CB(1)R; CB(2)R; Endocannabinoid; Microglia; Neuroinflammation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / complications
  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy*
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists / pharmacology
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists / therapeutic use
  • Endocannabinoids / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Macrophage Activation
  • Microglia / drug effects*
  • Neuroinflammatory Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Neuroinflammatory Diseases / etiology
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*


  • Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists
  • Endocannabinoids