Aron H. Lichtman

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The medicinal properties of marijuana have been recognized for centuries, but clinical and societal acceptance of this drug of abuse as a potential therapeutic agent remains fiercely debated. An attractive alternative to marijuana-based therapeutics would be to target the molecular pathways that mediate the effects of this drug. To date, these neural(More)
2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide are endocannabinoids that activate the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. Endocannabinoid signaling is terminated by enzymatic hydrolysis, a process that for anandamide is mediated by fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), and for 2-AG is thought to involve monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL). FAAH inhibitors produce a(More)
Prolonged exposure to drugs of abuse, such as cannabinoids and opioids, leads to pharmacological tolerance and receptor desensitization in the nervous system. We found that a similar form of functional antagonism was produced by sustained inactivation of monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), the principal degradative enzyme for the endocannabinoid(More)
Phospholipase A(2)(PLA(2)) enzymes are considered the primary source of arachidonic acid for cyclooxygenase (COX)-mediated biosynthesis of prostaglandins. Here, we show that a distinct pathway exists in brain, where monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) hydrolyzes the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol to generate a major arachidonate precursor pool for(More)
The endocannabinoid system has been proposed to modulate a variety of physiological processes, including those that underlie cognition. The present study tested whether this system is tonically active in learning and memory by comparing CB(1) receptor knockout mice (CB(1)(-/-)) to wild-type mice (CB(1)(+/+)) in several Morris water maze tasks. Also, the(More)
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the disruptive effects of cannabinoids on working memory as assessed in the eight-arm radial-maze. Systemic administration of Δ9-THC, WIN-55,212-2, and CP-55,940 increased the number of errors committed in the radial-maze. CP-55,940 was the most potent cannabinoid in impairing memory (ED50=0.13 mg/kg).(More)
Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of marijuana, and other direct cannabinoid receptor (CB1) agonists produce a number of neurobehavioral effects in mammals that range from the beneficial (analgesia) to the untoward (abuse potential). Why, however, this full spectrum of activities is not observed upon pharmacological inhibition(More)
Direct-acting cannabinoid receptor agonists are well known to reduce hyperalgesic responses and allodynia after nerve injury, although their psychoactive side effects have damped enthusiasm for their therapeutic development. Alternatively, inhibiting fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), the principal enzymes responsible for(More)
Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) is the primary catabolic regulator of several bioactive lipid amides in vivo, including the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide and the sleep-inducing substance oleamide. Inhibitors of FAAH are considered a potential therapeutic approach for the treatment of several nervous system disorders, including pain, anxiety, and(More)
The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether the cannabinoid and cholinergic systems impair working memory through a common mechanism. This hypothesis was tested by examining whether the cannabinoid antagonist SR141716A would ameliorate radial-arm performance deficits caused by either the naturally occurring cannabinoid, Δ9-THC, or(More)