Attenuation of allergic contact dermatitis through the endocannabinoid system by Karsak Meliha, Gaffal Evelyn, Date Rahul, Wang-Eckhardt Lihua, Rehnelt Jennifer, Petrosino Stefania, Starowicz Katarzyna, Steuder Regina, Schlicker Eberhard, Cravatt Benjamin, Mechoulam Raphael, Buettner Reinhard, Werner Sabine, Di Marzo Vincenzo, Tüting Thomas, Zimmer Andreas in Science (New York, N.Y.) (2007).

[PMID: 17556587] PubMed


Allergic contact dermatitis affects about 5% of men and 11% of women in industrialized countries and is one of the leading causes for occupational diseases. In an animal model for cutaneous contact hypersensitivity, we show that mice lacking both known cannabinoid receptors display exacerbated allergic inflammation. In contrast, fatty acid amide hydrolase-deficient mice, which have increased levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide, displayed reduced allergic responses in the skin. Cannabinoid receptor antagonists exacerbated allergic inflammation, whereas receptor agonists attenuated inflammation. These results demonstrate a protective role of the endocannabinoid system in contact allergy in the skin and suggest a target for therapeutic intervention.

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