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Cannabinoid receptor 2 (macrophage)
Symbols CNR2; CB2; CX5
External IDs OMIM605051 MGI104650 HomoloGene1389 IUPHAR: CB2 GeneCards: CNR2 Gene
RNA expression pattern
PBB GE CNR2 206586 at tn.png
More reference expression data
Species Human Mouse
Entrez 1269 12802
Ensembl ENSG00000188822 ENSMUSG00000062585
UniProt P34972 Q544H5
RefSeq (mRNA) NM_001841 NM_009924
RefSeq (protein) NP_001832 NP_034054
Location (UCSC) Chr 1:
24.07 - 24.11 Mb
Chr 4:
135.17 - 135.19 Mb
PubMed search [1] [2]

Cannabinoid receptor 2 (macrophage), also known as CB2 or CNR2, is a G protein-coupled receptor from the cannabinoid receptor family which in humans is encoded by the CNR2 gene.[1] It is closely related to the cannabinoid receptor 1 which is responsible for the psychoactive properties of tetrahydrocannabinol, the active principle of marijuana.[1][2]



The CB2 receptor is negatively coupled to adenylate cyclase.

Expression profile

CB2 receptors are mostly expressed peripherally, on cells of the immune system, such as macrophages and T-cells,[3][4][5] and in the gastrointestinal system.[6] The CB2 receptors and their gene transcripts are widely distributed in the brain.[7] It is found primarily on microglia and not neurons.[8] As such, activation of the CB2 receptor has no apparent behavioural effects in animals. However, the role of CB2 may have possible therapeutic roles in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease,[9][10] and may be important in disorders such as depression and drug addiction.[11][7] CB2 agonists may also be useful for treatment of pain and inflammation, and are being investigated particularly for forms of pain that do not respond well to conventional treatments, like neuropathic pain.[12]


CB2 was cloned in 1993 by a research group from Cambridge looking for a second cannabinoid receptor which could explain the pharmacological properties of tetrahydrocannabinol, the active principle of marijuana.[1]

Selective Ligands

Many selective ligands for the CB2 receptor are now available.[13]



Antagonists and inverse agonists

See also


  1. ^ a b c Munro S, Thomas KL, Abu-Shaar M (September 1993). "Molecular characterization of a peripheral receptor for cannabinoids". Nature 365 (6441): 61–5. doi:10.1038/365061a0. PMID 7689702.  
  2. ^ "Entrez Gene: CNR2 cannabinoid receptor 2 (macrophage)".  
  3. ^ Miller AM, Stella N (January 2008). "CB2 receptor-mediated migration of immune cells: it can go either way". Br. J. Pharmacol. 153 (2): 299–308. doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0707523. PMID 17982478.  
  4. ^ Ashton JC, Glass M (June 2007). "The Cannabinoid CB2 Receptor as a Target for Inflammation-Dependent Neurodegeneration". Curr Neuropharmacol 5 (2): 73–80. doi:10.2174/157015907780866884. PMID 18615177.  
  5. ^ Centonze D, Battistini L, Maccarrone M (2008). "The endocannabinoid system in peripheral lymphocytes as a mirror of neuroinflammatory diseases". Curr. Pharm. Des. 14 (23): 2370–42. doi:10.2174/138161208785740018. PMID 18781987.  
  6. ^ Wright KL, Duncan M, Sharkey KA (January 2008). "Cannabinoid CB2 receptors in the gastrointestinal tract: a regulatory system in states of inflammation". Br. J. Pharmacol. 153 (2): 263–70. doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0707486. PMID 17906675.  
  7. ^ a b Onaivi ES (2006). "Neuropsychobiological evidence for the functional presence and expression of cannabinoid CB2 receptors in the brain". Neuropsychobiology 54 (4): 231–46. doi:10.1159/000100778. PMID 17356307.  
  8. ^ Cabral GA, Raborn ES, Griffin L, Dennis J, Marciano-Cabral F (January 2008). "CB2 receptors in the brain: role in central immune function". Br. J. Pharmacol. 153 (2): 240–51. doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0707584. PMID 18037916.  
  9. ^ Benito C, Núñez E, Tolón RM, et al. (2003). "Cannabinoid CB2 receptors and fatty acid amide hydrolase are selectively overexpressed in neuritic plaque-associated glia in Alzheimer's disease brains.". J. Neurosci. 23 (35): 11136–41. PMID 14657172.  
  10. ^ Fernández-Ruiz J, Pazos MR, García-Arencibia M, Sagredo O, Ramos JA (April 2008). "Role of CB2 receptors in neuroprotective effects of cannabinoids". Mol. Cell. Endocrinol. 286 (1-2 Suppl 1): S91–6. doi:10.1016/j.mce.2008.01.001. PMID 18291574.  
  11. ^ Onaivi ES, Ishiguro H, Gong JP, Patel S, Perchuk A, Meozzi PA, Myers L, Mora Z, Tagliaferro P, Gardner E, Brusco A, Akinshola BE, Liu QR, Hope B, Iwasaki S, Arinami T, Teasenfitz L, Uhl GR (August 2006). "Discovery of the presence and functional expression of cannabinoid CB2 receptors in brain". Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 1074: 514–36. doi:10.1196/annals.1369.052. PMID 17105950.  
  12. ^ Cheng Y, Hitchcock SA (July 2007). "Targeting cannabinoid agonists for inflammatory and neuropathic pain". Expert Opin Investig Drugs 16 (7): 951–65. doi:10.1517/13543784.16.7.951. PMID 17594182.  
  13. ^ Marriott KS, Huffman JW (2008). "Recent advances in the development of selective ligands for the cannabinoid CB(2) receptor". Curr Top Med Chem 8 (3): 187–204. doi:10.2174/156802608783498014. PMID 18289088.  

External links

Further reading

This article incorporates text from the United States National Library of Medicine, which is in the public domain.


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