Alteration of endocannabinoid system in human gliomas.J Neurochem 2012; 120(5):842-9JN
Endocannabinoids are neuromodulatory lipids that mediate the central and peripheral neural functions. Endocannabinoids have demonstrated their anti-proliferative, anti-angiogenic and pro-apoptotic properties in a series of studies. In the present study, we investigated the levels of two major endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG), and their receptors, CB1 and CB2, in human low grade glioma (WHO grade I-II) tissues, high grade glioma (WHO grade III-IV) tissues, and non-tumor brain tissue controls. We also measured the expressions and activities of the enzymes responsible for anandamide and 2-AG biosynthesis and degradation, that is, N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine-hydrolysing phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD), fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL), and diacylglycerol lipase-alpha (DGL), in the same samples. Liquid chromatography-mass spectometry analysis showed that the levels of anandamide decreased, whereas the levels of 2-AG increased in glioma tissues, comparing to the non-tumor controls. The expression levels and activities of NAPE-PLD, FAAH and MGL also decreased in glioma tissues. Furthermore, quantitative-PCR analysis and western-blot analysis revealed that the expression levels of cananbinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, were elevated in human glioma tissues. The changes of anandamide and 2-AG contents in different stages of gliomas may qualify them as the potential endogenous biomarkers for glial tumor malignancy.