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Chem Biodivers. 2008 Nov;5(11):2431-41. doi: 10.1002/cbdv.200890208.

Mass-spectrometric identification of anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol in nematodes.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Kuopio, P. O. Box 1627, FI-70211 Kuopio.


The purpose of the study was to see if nematodes (Caenorhabditis elegans, Caenorhabditis briggsae, and Pelodera strongyloides) produce endocannabinoids; i.e., anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). In this study, AEA and 2-AG were identified as endogenous products from nematodes by using electrospray-ionization ion-trap MS/MS (ESI-IT-MS) experiments operated in the positive-ionization mode. Endocannabinoids were identified by product ion scan and concentrations were measured by triple quadrupole mass spectrometry in the multiple reaction monitoring mode (MRM). Both AEA and 2-AG were identified in all of the nematode samples, even though these species lack known cannabinoid receptors. Neither AEA nor 2-AG were detected in the fat-3 mutant of C. elegans, which lacks the necessary enzyme to produce arachidonic acid, the fatty acid precursor of these endocannabinoids.

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