Need for methods to investigate endocannabinoid signaling

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are endogenous lipids able to activate cannabinoid receptors, the primary molecular targets of the cannabis (Cannabis sativa) active principle Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol. During the last 20 years, several N-acylethanolamines and acylesters have been shown to act as eCBs, and a complex array of receptors, metabolic enzymes, and transporters (that altogether form the so-called eCB system) has been shown to finely tune their manifold biological activities. It appears now urgent to develop methods and protocols that allow to assay in a specific and quantitative manner the distinct components of the eCB system, and that can properly localize them within the cell. A brief overview of eCBs and of the proteins that bind, transport, and metabolize these lipids is presented here, in order to put in a better perspective the relevance of methodologies that help to disclose molecular details of eCB signaling in health and disease. Proper methodological approaches form also the basis for a more rationale and effective drug design and therapeutic strategy to combat human disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)10643745


  • 2-Arachidonoylglycerol
  • Anandamide
  • Enzyme assays
  • Immunochemical assays
  • Intracellular trafficking
  • Localization
  • Metabolic routes
  • Oxidative pathways
  • Receptor binding assays
  • Signal transduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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