Research ArticleApoptosis

Cannabinoids Induce Pancreatic β-Cell Death by Directly Inhibiting Insulin Receptor Activation

Sci. Signal.  20 Mar 2012:
Vol. 5, Issue 216, pp. ra23
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2002519

You are currently viewing the editor's summary.

View Full Text
As a service to the community, AAAS/Science has made this article free with registration.

Death by Cannabinoids

Cannabinoid receptors are located in the brain and in the periphery, where they mediate effects on mood, appetite, metabolism, and pain perception. In pancreatic β cells, cannabinoid 1 receptors inhibit insulin action. Kim et al. showed that cannabinoid 1 receptors also prevent prosurvival signaling through the insulin receptor by attenuating its activation. Because loss of β cells through cell death contributes to the decline in pancreatic function seen in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, pharmacological blockade of the cannabinoid 1 receptor could be developed as a potential therapy for diabetes.