Encyclopedia of Sexuality and Gender

Living Edition
| Editors: Amy D. Lykins

Endocannabinoids

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-59531-3_53-1
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Synonyms

Definition

Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are lipid messengers, synthesized from membrane phospholipids, that act as retrograde messengers in the nervous system. The endocannabinoid system is composed by two Gi/o-coupled cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), their endogenous ligands, and the enzymes involved in their synthesis and degradation. CB receptors are expressed throughout the body; however, CB1 receptors are predominantly expressed in the central and peripheral nervous systems, while the CB2 receptor is mainly found in peripheral and brain immune cells, although recent evidence suggests its expression also in neuronal and glial cells (Xi et al., 2011). In the brain, CB1 receptors are located mainly on presynaptic GABAergic and glutamatergic terminals, where its activation decreases neurotransmitter release, while CB2 receptors are expressed at pre- and postsynaptic sites. Anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) are the...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de FarmacobiologíaCinvestav-Sede SurMexico CityMexico
  2. 2.Dirección de Investigación, Instituto Nacional de Neurología y NeurocirugíaMexico CityMexico