Citral Inhibits the Inflammatory Response and Hyperalgesia in Mice: The Role of TLR4, TLR2/Dectin-1, and CB2 Cannabinoid Receptor/ATP-Sensitive K+ Channel Pathways
The endocannabinoid system has long been a target for treatment of many immunoinflammatory diseases due to its role in regulating the body’s pain and immune responses. Because the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) is ubiquitously expressed in the brain, pharmaceutical compounds targeting this member of the endocannabinoid system often have adverse effects on patients’ mental state. In contrast, cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) is less abundant in the brain while still present throughout other organ systems; thus, compounds that regulate functions of this receptor constitute promising drug candidates for the management of immunoinflammatory conditions and pain states.
Citral, a bioactive component in lemongrass, is one such compound. Most noticeably, research suggests that through activation of the CB2 receptor, this molecule mitigates edema, or the swelling caused by excess fluid trapped in the tissues, and thermal allodynia, or the pain occurs due to a mild change of temperature of the skin – both are common conditions caused by inflammatory agents. Not only do these findings establish citral as a promising, innovative natural medicinal agent for pain and inflammatory treatment, but they also emphasize the intricate link between the endocannabinoid and immune systems