Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Systems pharmacology of the endocannabinoid system

What are the functions of the endocannabinoid system?

Vasudev Kantae

In the past decade, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) (a lipid signalling system, comprising of cannabinoid receptors, endogenous cannabis-like-ligands endocannabinoids and enzymes responsible for synthesis and breakdown of these molecules) has been implicated in a growing number of physiological functions, both in the central and peripheral nervous systems and in peripheral organs, as well as the development of novel drugs with pharmacological advantages. More importantly, modulating the activity of the endocannabinoid system turned out to hold therapeutic promise in a wide range of disparate diseases and pathological conditions, ranging from central nervous system disorders, obesity, osteoporosis. Etc.

To understand the complexity ECS system, we combine metabolomics to the systems pharmacology, to model the human metabolite network. We will study the connectivity between different pathways within the endocannabinoid system at the cellular/organ level (using organ-on-chip system), zebrafish and human level. This will allowfor a better understanding of the endocannabinoid system better, developing quantitative models, and identifying possibilities to modulate it with drugs or new compounds in the context of health and disease. We couple various liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry methods to study the ECS in various biological matrices. Other aim of my project is to miniaturize the analytical methods for handling small sample volumes.

Connection with other research