Bryan Latrell Holloman, Mitzi Nagarkatti and Prakash Nagarkatti

Published in International Journal of Molecular Sciences


June 2021


Chronic inflammation is considered to be a silent killer because it is the underlying cause of a wide range of clinical disorders, from cardiovascular to neurological diseases, and from cancer to obesity. In addition, there are over 80 different types of debilitating autoimmune diseases for which there are no cure. Currently, the drugs that are available to suppress chronic inflammation are either ineffective or overtly suppress the inflammation, thereby causing increased susceptibility to infections and cancer. Thus, the development of a new class of drugs that can suppress chronic inflammation is imperative. Cannabinoids are a group of compounds produced in the body (endocannabinoids) or found in cannabis (phytocannabinoids) that act through cannabinoid receptors and various other receptors expressed widely in the brain and immune system. In the last decade, cannabinoids have been well established experimentally to mediate anti-inflammatory properties. Research has shown that they suppress inflammation through multiple pathways, including apoptosis and inducing immunosuppressive T regulatory cells (Tregs) and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). Interestingly, cannabinoids also mediate epigenetic alterations in genes that regulate inflammation. In the current review, we highlight how the epigenetic modulations caused by cannabinoids lead to the suppression of inflammation and help identify novel pathways that can be used to target autoimmune diseases.

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DOI: 10.3390/ijms22147302


Holloman, B. L., Nagarkatti, M., & Nagarkatti, P. (2021). Epigenetic Regulation of Cannabinoid-Mediated Attenuation of Inflammation and Its Impact on the Use of Cannabinoids to Treat Autoimmune Diseases. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22(14), 7302.