Group Leader: Ismael Galve-Roperh
Our group investigates the role of the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of neurogenesis, with special emphasis in embryonic cortical development, but also in adult neurogenic areas under different pathophysiological situations. In particular we are interested on the role of endocannabinoids and their receptors CB1 and CB2 in the regulation of stem/progenitor cell proliferation and identity, neuronal differentiation, migration and integration. Research performed by our group and others have demonstrated a neurodevelopmental regulatory role of cannabinoid signalling This new research area has several implications in Biomedicine, among them:
i) Cannabinoid signalling deregulation may constitute the neurobiological substrate responsible of neurodevelopmental disorders that result in neuronal hyperexcitability, epilepsy and neuropsychiatric syndromes.
ii) Cannabinoid signalling regulation constitutes a promising approach to promote and regulate neural differentiation of stem cells for neurodegenerative and neurorepair studies.
iii) Cannabinoid-based molecules have promising therapeutic potential in refractory epilepsy, but also to modulate emotions, and neuropsychiatric symptoms including anxiety, depression or psychosis.
Understanding the neurodevelopmental role of the endocannabinoid system is essential for the rational development of safe cannabinoid-derived drugs.