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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)
Alcoholism is characterized by a compulsion to seek and ingest alcohol, loss of control over intake, and the emergence of a negative emotional state during abstinence. We hypothesized that sustained activation of neuroendocrine stress systems (e.g., corticosteroid release via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis) by alcohol intoxication and withdrawal(More)
The abuse of opioid drugs, both illicit and prescription, is a persistent problem in the United States, accounting for >1.2 million users who require treatment each year. Current treatments rely on suppressing immediate withdrawal symptoms and replacing illicit drug use with long-acting opiate drugs. However, the mechanisms that lead to preventing opiate(More)
Δ(9)-Tetrahydrocannbinol (THC), the primary active constituent of Cannabis sativa, has long been known to reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms. Although THC produces most of its pharmacological actions through the activation of CB(1) and CB(2) cannabinoid receptors, the role these receptors play in reducing the variety of opioid withdrawal symptoms remains(More)
Repeated administration of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive constituent of Cannabis sativa, induces profound tolerance that correlates with desensitization and downregulation of CB(1) cannabinoid receptors in the CNS. However, the consequences of repeated administration of the endocannabinoid N-arachidonoyl ethanolamine(More)
Buprenorphine, a synthetic opioid that acts at both μ and κ opioid receptors, can decrease cocaine use in individuals with opioid addiction. However, the potent agonist action of buprenorphine at μ opioid receptors raises its potential for creating opioid dependence in non-opioid-dependent cocaine abusers. Here, we tested the hypothesis that a combination(More)
Abstinence symptoms in cannabis-dependent individuals are believed to contribute to the maintenance of regular marijuana use. However, there are currently no medications approved by the FDA to treat cannabis-related disorders. The only treatment currently shown consistently to alleviate cannabinoid withdrawal in both animals and humans is substitution(More)
Pruritus (itch) is a common cause of discomfort by dermatological disorders. Several peripherally and centrally mediated pathologies that induce pruritus do not generally respond to typical allergenic and anti-inflammatory treatments. In accordance, we employed an acute allergenic murine model to determine whether the endogenous cannabinoid system could be(More)
The endogenous cannabinoid N-arachidonoyl ethanolamine (anandamide; AEA) produces most of its pharmacological effects by binding and activating CB(1) and CB(2) cannabinoid receptors within the CNS and periphery. However, the actions of AEA are short lived because of its rapid catabolism by fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). Indeed, FAAH knockout mice as(More)