Author(s): Fanelli F, Di Lallo VD, Belluomo I, De Iasio R, Baccini M,
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Abstract The elucidation of the role of endocannabinoids in physiological and pathological conditions and the transferability of the importance of these mediators from basic evidence into clinical practice is still hampered by the indefiniteness of their circulating reference intervals. In this work, we developed and validated a two-dimensional LC/MS/MS method for the simultaneous measurement of plasma endocannabinoids and related compounds such as arachidonoyl-ethanolamide, palmitoyl-ethanolamide, and oleoyl-ethanolamide, belonging to the N-acyl-ethanolamide (NAE) family, and 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol and its inactive isomer 1-arachidonoyl-glycerol from the monoacyl-glycerol (MAG) family. We found that several pitfalls in the endocannabinoid measurement may occur, from blood withdrawal to plasma processing. Plasma extraction with toluene followed by on-line purification was chosen, allowing high-throughput and reliability. We estimated gender-specific reference intervals on 121 healthy normal weight subjects fulfilling rigorous anthropometric and hematic criteria. We observed no gender differences for NAEs, whereas significantly higher MAG levels were found in males compared with females. MAGs also significantly correlated with triglycerides. NAEs increased with age in females, and arachidonoyl-ethanolamide correlated with adiposity and metabolic parameters in females. This work paves the way to the establishment of definitive reference intervals for circulating endocannabinoids to help physicians move from the speculative research field into the clinical field.
This article was published in J Lipid Res
and referenced in Journal of Analytical & Bioanalytical Techniques