Visualization of Endocannabinoids in the Cell.

“A still unsolved, although critical, issue in endocannabinoid research is the mechanism by which the lipophilic compound anandamide (AEA) moves from its site of synthesis, crosses the aqueous milieu, and reaches the different intracellular compartments, where its metabolic and signaling pathways take place. The difficulty of studying intracellular AEA transport and distribution results from the lack of specific probes and techniques to track and visualize this bioactive lipid within the cell. Here, we describe the use of a biotinylated, non-hydrolyzable derivative of AEA (biotin-AEA, b-AEA) for visualizing the subcellular distribution of this endocannabinoid by means of confocal fluorescence microscopy.”

Anandamide mediates cognitive judgement bias in rats.

“In the present study, we investigated the effects of acute pharmacological manipulation of the endocannabinoid (EC) system on the valence of cognitive judgement bias of rats in the ambiguous-cue interpretation (ACI) paradigm.

Our findings suggest involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the mediation of optimistic judgement bias.”

Anandamide-evoked activation of vanilloid receptor 1 contributes to the development of bladder hyperreflexia and nociceptive transmission to spinal dorsal horn neurons in cystitis.

  Figure 4.

“The role of anandamide in the development of inflammatory hyperalgesia and visceral hyperreflexia was studied in the rat urinary bladder…

These results suggest that anandamide, through activating TRPV1, contributes to the development of hyperreflexia and hyperalgesia during¬†cystitis.”

[The modulatory role of endocannabinoids in sleep].

“The endogenous cannabinoid, or endocannabinoid, system is present in the central nervous system (CNS) of rodents and humans. This system includes receptors, endogenous ligands and enzymes. The presence of cannabinoid receptors, called CB1, in the CNS has been reported in the cerebral cortex, the hippocampus, the cerebellum and the brain stem. This neuroanatomical location suggests that this receptor could modify several physiological functions, such as the consolidation of memory, motor control and the generation of sleep.


Recent reports have described the presence of lipids in the CNS that bind to the CB1 receptor. Administration of said molecules induces cannabimimetic effects, and hence it has been suggested that these lipids are endogenous cannabinoids or endocannabinoids. Anandamide, 2-arachidonylglycerol, virodhamine, noladin ether and N-arachidonyldopamine are molecules that belong to the endocannabinoid family. Anandamide has received more attention from researchers because it was the first endocannabinoid to be reported. Pharmacological experiments have shown that this endocannabinoid induces several different intracellular and behavioural changes.


In this study, we review the most important pharmacological aspects of exogenous cannabinoids and the neurobiological role played by the endocannabinoid system, including endogenous and exogenous ligands and receptors. We also examine their pharmacological effects on different behaviours, with particular attention given to the modulation of sleep.”