The broad, long-term objectives of this proposal are to develop new metabolomic methodologies to identify pathways involved with metabolism and biosynthesis of endogenous cannabinoid signaling molecules such as anandamide and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG). Ultimately, these lipidomic strategies can be employed in in vivo or in vitro systems to better understand the profile of endogenous cannabinoids produced under a variety of stimuli. The endogenous cannabinoids are a family of lipid signaling molecules that are typically amides or esters derived from long-chain fatty acids. These compounds have neuromodulatory activity and appear to play a role in multiple physiological processes. The two major endocannabinoids identified in the brain are anandamide (N-arachidonyl- ethanolamide) and 2-AG. The proposed studies are designed to refine the approaches used to study production and recycling of anandamide as well as other putative endogenous cannabinoids. The specific metabolic and biosynthetic pathways linked to certain calcium channels as well as neurotransmitter receptor activation will be explored.
The Specific Aims of this project are: 1) To develop and apply specific metabolite fingerprinting and profiling methodology for identifying the lipidomic profile for endogenous cannabinoids, and 2) To determine stimulus-dependent differences in the release of endogenous cannabinoids. The studies will use molecular, biochemical, analytical (thin layer chromatography, mass spectrometry), and lipidomic/ metabolomic approaches. These innovative comparative lipidomic studies will examine in detail the recycling products derived from metabolized anandamide. A better understanding of the mechanisms of endogenous cannabinoid production and release will provide new insight into the system that is acted upon by marijuana. The Public Relevance: This project has direct relevance to human health because the endocannabinoid system is implicated in modulation of memory, mood, cognition, pain, fever, and the immune system. As such, pharmacological manipulation of this system has potentially therapeutic effects in such conditions as convulsions, glaucoma, movement disorders, anxiety, obesity, and multiple sclerosis. Understanding the molecular basis for controlling the production of the endogenous cannabinoids is critical for future drug discovery efforts targeting this system.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Molecular Neuropharmacology and Signaling Study Section (MNPS)
Program Officer
Singh, Hari
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Purdue University
Schools of Pharmacy
West Lafayette
United States
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Han, Bingnan; Wright, Rachel; Kirchhoff, Aaron M et al. (2013) Quantitative LC-MS/MS analysis of arachidonoyl amino acids in mouse brain with treatment of FAAH inhibitor. Anal Biochem 432:74-81
Placzek, Ekaterina A; Cooper, Bruce R; Placzek, Andrew T et al. (2010) Lipidomic metabolism analysis of the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide (N-arachidonylethanolamide). J Pharm Biomed Anal 53:567-75