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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Sep 5;103(36):13345-50. Epub 2006 Aug 28.

A biosynthetic pathway for anandamide.

Author information

  • 1Laboratories of Physiologic Studies, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. jiel@mail.nih.gov

Abstract

The endocannabinoid arachidonoyl ethanolamine (anandamide) is a lipid transmitter synthesized and released "on demand" by neurons in the brain. Anandamide is also generated by macrophages where its endotoxin (LPS)-induced synthesis has been implicated in the hypotension of septic shock and advanced liver cirrhosis. Anandamide can be generated from its membrane precursor, N-arachidonoyl phosphatidylethanolamine (NAPE) through cleavage by a phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD). Here we document a biosynthetic pathway for anandamide in mouse brain and RAW264.7 macrophages that involves the phospholipase C (PLC)-catalyzed cleavage of NAPE to generate a lipid, phosphoanandamide, which is subsequently dephosphorylated by phosphatases, including PTPN22, previously described as a protein tyrosine phosphatase. Bacterial endotoxin (LPS)-induced synthesis of anandamide in macrophages is mediated exclusively by the PLC/phosphatase pathway, which is up-regulated by LPS, whereas NAPE-PLD is down-regulated by LPS and functions as a salvage pathway of anandamide synthesis when the PLC/phosphatase pathway is compromised. Both PTPN22 and endocannabinoids have been implicated in autoimmune diseases, suggesting that the PLC/phosphatase pathway of anandamide synthesis may be a pharmacotherapeutic target.

PMID:
16938887
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1557387
Free PMC Article
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