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It is intriguing that during human cultural evolution man has detected plant natural products that appear to target key protein receptors of important physiological systems rather selectively. Plants containing such secondary metabolites usually belong to unique chemotaxa, induce potent pharmacological effects and have typically been used for recreational(More)
Alkylamides (alkamides) from Echinacea modulate tumor necrosis factor alpha mRNA expression in human monocytes/macrophages via the cannabinoid type 2 (CB2) receptor (Gertsch, J., Schoop, R., Kuenzle, U., and Suter, A. (2004) FEBS Lett. 577, 563-569). Here we show that the alkylamides dodeca-2E,4E,8Z,10Z-tetraenoic acid isobutylamide (A1) and(More)
GABA(A) receptors are the major ionotropic inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors. The endocannabinoid system is a lipid signaling network that modulates different brain functions. Here we show a direct molecular interaction between the two systems. The endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) potentiates GABA(A) receptors at low concentrations of(More)
Despite extensive research on the trafficking of anandamide (AEA) across cell membranes, little is known about the membrane transport of other endocannabinoids, such as 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Previous studies have provided data both in favor and against a cell membrane carrier-mediated transport of endocannabinoids, using different methodological(More)
Using cytotoxicity against KB cancer cells as a lead, bioguided-fractionation of the petroleum ether and ethyl acetate extracts of Bituminaria morisiana leaves led to the isolation of two new pterocarpans, namely 3,9-dihydroxy-4-(3,3-dimethylallyl) [6a R, 11a R]-pterocarpan, 3-hydroxy-4-(3,3-dimethylallyl)-4'',5''-dehydropyrano[8,9:2'',3''][6a R,11a(More)
As part of an ethnopharmacological field study 48 medicinal plants were evaluated using several biological assays with the goal to obtain information on the pharmacological effects of these plants, which may be of direct relevance to the indigenous uses. Three species used to treat gastrointestinal disorders showed remarkable activity against Helicobacter(More)
The psychoactive cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa L. and the arachidonic acid-derived endocannabinoids are nonselective natural ligands for cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB(1)) and CB(2) receptors. Although the CB(1) receptor is responsible for the psychomodulatory effects, activation of the CB(2) receptor is a potential therapeutic strategy for the(More)
The mammalian brain is one of the organs with the highest energy demands, and mitochondria are key determinants of its functions. Here we show that the type-1 cannabinoid receptor (CB(1)) is present at the membranes of mouse neuronal mitochondria (mtCB(1)), where it directly controls cellular respiration and energy production. Through activation of mtCB(1)(More)
The skin irritant polyyne falcarinol (panaxynol, carotatoxin) is found in carrots, parsley, celery, and in the medicinal plant Panax ginseng. In our ongoing search for new cannabinoid (CB) receptor ligands we have isolated falcarinol from the endemic Sardinian plant Seseli praecox. We show that falcarinol exhibits binding affinity to both human CB receptors(More)
Since the discovery that Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol and related cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa L. act on specific physiological receptors in the human body and the subsequent elucidation of the mammalian endogenous cannabinoid system, no other natural product class has been reported to mimic the effects of cannabinoids. We recently found that N-alkyl(More)