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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2002 Jun 1;402(1):51-8.

2-Arachidonoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphate, an arachidonic acid-containing lysophosphatidic acid: occurrence and rapid enzymatic conversion to 2-arachidonoyl-sn-glycerol, a cannabinoid receptor ligand, in rat brain.

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Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Teikyo University, Sagamiko, Tsukui-gun, Kanagawa 199-0195, Japan.


A substantial amount of lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) (15.66 nmol/g tissue) was found to occur in the brain isolated from rats killed in liquid nitrogen. We found that a significant portion of brain LPA was accounted for by the arachidonic acid-containing species (5.4%). We obtained evidence that both 2-arachidonoyl species and 1-arachidonoyl species of LPA are present. The occurrence of 2-arachidonoyl LPA in the brain (0.53 nmol/g tissue) is a notable observation, because of its structural resemblance to 2-arachidonoyl-sn-glycerol (2-AG), an endogenous cannabinoid receptor ligand. We then examined the biological activity of 2-arachidonoyl LPA and compared it with that of 2-AG using neuroblastoma x glioma hybrid NG108-15 cells which express both the LPA receptor and cannabinoid CB1 receptor. We found that 2-arachidonoyl LPA interacts with the LPA receptor(s) to elicit the elevation of intracellular free Ca(2+) concentrations, whereas 2-AG interacts exclusively with the cannabinoid CB1 receptor. Next, we examined the possible metabolic relationship between 2-arachidonoyl LPA and 2-AG and obtained clear evidence that rapid enzymatic conversion of 2-arachidonoyl LPA to 2-AG took place in the brain homogenate. It is noteworthy that two types of endogenous ligands, that interact with different types of receptors, are closely related metabolically and rapidly interconvert.

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