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Sci. STKE, 23 April 2002
Vol. 2002, Issue 129, p. re5
[DOI: 10.1126/stke.2002.129.re5]


Endocannabinoids and Neuroprotection

R. Mechoulam1*, M. Spatz3, and E. Shohami2

1Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products, Hebrew University Medical Faculty, Jerusalem 91120, Israel.
2Department of Pharmacology, Hebrew University Medical Faculty, Jerusalem 91120, Israel.
3Stroke Branch, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, 36 Convent Drive, MSC 4128, Bethesda, MD 20892-4128, USA.

Gloss: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) causes the accumulation of harmful endogenous constituents in the brain, which may lead to secondary damage; protective mechanisms are also set in motion. Understanding the pathophysiology of secondary brain injury might lead to the development of novel therapeutic treatments for this common condition. The synthesis in the brain of the endogenous cannabinoids 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) and anandamide is enhanced in mice and rats, respectively, after TBI and reduces brain damage. These compounds represent a new class of neuroprotective agents that have multiple mechanisms of action that may involve inhibition of transmitter release and of the inflammatory response and might improve the blood supply to the injured brain.

*Corresponding author. E-mail: mechou{at}

Citation: R. Mechoulam, M. Spatz, E. Shohami, Endocannabinoids and Neuroprotection. Sci. STKE 2002, re5 (2002).

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