Author(s): Stefano GB, Liu Y, Goligorsky MS
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Abstract The present study demonstrates that stereoselective binding sites for anandamide, a naturally occurring cannabinoid substance, can be found in invertebrate immunocytes and microglia. The anandamide-binding site is monophasic and of high affinity, exhibiting a Kd of 34.3 nM with a Bmax of 441 fmol/mg protein. These sites are highly selective, as demonstrated by the inability of other types of signaling molecules to displace [3H]anandamide. Furthermore, this binding site is coupled to nitric oxide release in the invertebrate tissues examined as well as in human monocytes. Interestingly, the cannabinoid-stimulated release of nitric oxide initiates cell rounding. Thus, these cannabinoid actions resemble those of opiate alkaloids. In this regard, we demonstrate that these signaling systems use the same effector system, i.e. nitric oxide release, but separate receptors. Last, the presence of a cannabinoid receptor in selected evolutionary diverse organisms indicates that this signaling system has been conserved for more than 500 million years.
This article was published in J Biol Chem
and referenced in Pharmaceutica Analytica Acta