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Mol Pharmacol. 2008 Jul;74(1):101-8. doi: 10.1124/mol.108.044834. Epub 2008 Apr 24.

RNA interference-mediated knockdown of dynamin 2 reduces endocannabinoid uptake into neuronal dCAD cells.

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  • 1Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Purdue University, 575 Stadium Mall Dr., West Lafayette, IN 47907-2091, USA.


The precise mechanism by which the cellular uptake of the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA) occurs has been the source of much debate. In the current study, we show that neuronal differentiated CAD (dCAD) cells accumulate anandamide by a process that is inhibited in a dose-dependent manner by N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)arachidonylamide (AM404). We also show that dCAD cells express functional fatty acid amide hydrolase, the enzyme primarily responsible for anandamide metabolism. Previous data from our laboratory indicated that anandamide uptake occurs by a caveolae-related endocytic mechanism in RBL-2H3 cells. In the current study, we show that anandamide uptake by dCAD cells may also occur by an endocytic process that is associated with detergent-resistant membrane microdomains or lipid rafts. Nystatin and progesterone pretreatment of dCAD cells significantly inhibited anandamide accumulation. Furthermore, RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated knockdown of dynamin 2, a protein involved in endocytosis, blocked the internalization of the fluorescently labeled anandamide analog SKM 4-45-1 ([3',6'-bis(acetyloxy)-3-oxospiro[isobenzofuran-1(3H),9'-[9H]xanthen-5-yl]-2-[[1-oxo-5Z,8Z,11Z,14Z-eicosatetraenyl]amino]ethyl ester carbamic acid). RNAi-mediated knockdown of the beta2 subunit of the clathrin-associated activator protein 2 complex had no effect on SKM 4-45-1 internalization. We were surprised to find that dynamin 2 knockdown in dCAD cells did not affect [3H]AEA uptake. However, dynamin 2 knockdown caused a significant increase in the overall levels of intact [3H]AEA associated with the cells, suggesting that trafficking of [3H]AEA to FAAH had been disrupted. This finding may be the result of an accumulation of the anandamide carrier protein in detergent-resistant membranes after dynamin 2 knockdown. Our studies provide evidence that the cellular uptake of anandamide may occur by a dynamin 2-dependent, caveolae-related endocytic process in dCAD cells.

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