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FEBS Lett. 1998 Jun 12;429(2):152-6.

2-Arachidonoylglycerol, an endogenous cannabinoid receptor agonist: identification as one of the major species of monoacylglycerols in various rat tissues, and evidence for its generation through CA2+-dependent and -independent mechanisms.

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Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Teikyo University, Sagamiko, Kanagawa, Japan.


The molecular species compositions of monoacylglycerols obtained from various rat tissues were examined by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analyses. We confirmed that 2-arachidonoylglycerol, an endogenous cannabinoid receptor agonist, is one of the most abundant molecular species of monoacylglycerols in the brain. Substantial amounts of 2-arachidonoylglycerol were also found in the liver, spleen, lung and kidney, but the levels were considerably lower than that in the brain. We found that a small amount of 2-arachidonoylglycerol was generated in a brain homogenate during incubation in the absence of Ca2+. Importantly, the generation of 2-arachidonoylglycerol was markedly augmented in the presence of Ca2+, suggesting that Ca2+ plays a key role in regulation of the generation of 2-arachidonoylglycerol in this tissue.

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