Cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) and type-2 (CB2) receptors belong to the family of G protein-coupled receptors and mediate biological effects of phyto-derived and endogenous cannabinoids. Whereas functions of CB1 receptor have been extensively studied, the CB2 receptor has emerged over the last few years as a critical player in regulation of inflammation, pain, atherosclerosis and osteoporosis. Therefore, although still at a preclinical stage, the development of selective CB2 molecules has gained of interest as new targets in drug discovery. Recent data have unravelled a key role of CB2 receptors during chronic and acute liver injury, including fibrogenesis associated to chronic liver diseases, ischaemia-reperfusion-induced liver injury, and hepatic encephalopathy associated to acute liver failure. This review summarizes the latest advances on the recently identified role of CB2 receptors in the pathophysiology of liver diseases.
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