Therapeutic Potential Of The Endocannabinoid System In Perinatal Asphyxia

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Perinatal asphyxia is the most frequent cause of neonatal brain injury and, despite advances in neonatology, it has not been possible to reduce its incidence. This is due to the difficulty to diagnose with precision the presence and onset of hypoxia and also to the existence of a limited period of time in which rescue strategies are effective. Thus, it is necessary to find out new and more effective therapeutic strategies, appearing the use of cannabinoids as a promising one.

The endocannabinoid system modulates a wide range of physiological processes in mammals, being its participation in the retrograde system of signaling one of the most important, so it has been considered as an endogenous neuroprotective system. In experimental models of perinatal asphyxia, modulation of the endocannabinoid system through the administration of synthetic cannabinoids and endocannabinoids has demonstrated neuroprotective effects both in vitro and in vivo, by inhibition the intracellular calcium influx, decreasing the release of glutamate and cytokines, diminishing the inflammatory response and leading hypothermia. Moreover, it seems to play an important role in the development of the central nervous system, as it appears in the fetal period since the beginning.

Modulation of the endocannabinoid system appears as a novel therapeutic strategy against neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury.

Source: [Therapeutic potential of the endocannabinoid sys... [Rev Neurol. 2011] - PubMed - NCBI
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