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Lipids. 2010 Sep;45(9):863-75. doi: 10.1007/s11745-010-3457-5. Epub 2010 Aug 17.

Lipid profiling reveals tissue-specific differences for ethanolamide lipids in mice lacking fatty acid amide hydrolase.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Center for Plant Lipid Research, University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76203-5017, USA.


N-Acylethanolamines (NAE) are fatty acid derivatives, some of which function as endocannabinoids in mammals. NAE metabolism involves common (phosphatidylethanolamines, PEs) and uncommon (N-acylphosphatidylethanolamines, NAPEs) membrane phospholipids. Here we have identified and quantified more than a hundred metabolites in the NAE/endocannabinoid pathway in mouse brain and heart tissues, including many previously unreported molecular species of NAPE. We found that brain tissue of mice lacking fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH (-/-)) had elevated PE and NAPE molecular species in addition to elevated NAEs, suggesting that FAAH activity participates in the overall regulation of this pathway. This perturbation of the NAE pathway in brain was not observed in heart tissue of FAAH (-/-) mice, indicating that metabolic regulation of the NAE pathway differs in these two organs and the metabolic enzymes that catabolize NAEs are most likely differentially distributed and/or regulated. Targeted lipidomics analysis, like that presented here, will continue to provide important insights into cellular lipid signaling networks.

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