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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1998 Feb;59(2):347-52.

Biphasic effects of anandamide.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.


Effects of the endogenous cannabimimetic anandamide were assessed over a wide dose range in a series of physiological and behavioral assays. These included the tetrad of tests in mice commonly used to assess cannabinoid-induced effects (motor activity, ring catalepsy, hypothermia, and analgesia tests), as well as a model for agonistic behavior on dyadic interactions of singly housed males with nonaggressive group-housed partners. Anandamide-induced effects on leukocyte phagocytosis were measured in a chemiluminescence assay. Results indicated that the higher doses tested (10-100 mg/kg) produced the well-known inhibitory effects in all of the above parameters as well as inhibition of phagocytosis. The lowest dose of anandamide tested (0.01 mg/kg) stimulated behavioral activities in the open field, on the ring and aggressive behavior in timid singly housed mice. This dose of 0.01 mg/kg, also stimulated phagocytosis. We suggest several possible mechanisms to explain these findings such as a differential involvement of a Gs and a Gi protein activated at low and high doses, respectively, allosteric modulation of the cannabinoid, and activation of presynaptic cannabinoid receptors by low doses of anandamide.

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