Medical College of Wisconsin
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Physiological and behavioural effects of the endogenous cannabinoid, arachidonylethanolamide (anandamide), in the rat. Br J Pharmacol 1996 Sep;119(1):107-14 PMID: 8872363 PMCID: PMC1915721

Pubmed ID



1. Arachidonylethanolamide (AEA; anandamide) has been isolated from mammalian brain and found to bind to, and is thought to be, an endogenous ligand for the cannabinoid receptor. In order to understand better its behavioural and physiological properties, we have examined its acute effects in unanaesthetized freely behaving rats. 2. Intravenous AEA caused dose-related decreases in locomotor behaviour, a pronounced hyperreflexia, and a moderate antinociceptive state. At doses between 3 and 30 mg kg-1, a dose-dependent hypothermia and profound, time-dependent cardiovascular changes were also observed. 3. An immediate bradycardia exceeding 50% was seen within 10-15 s of administration and lasted up to 11 min following the highest dose of the drug. In contrast, the change in mean arterial pressure was biphasic: an immediate 20% decrease in mean arterial pressure followed by a significant increase in blood pressure that lasted about 13 min after the highest dose. 4. These data demonstrate that AEA in the unanaesthetized rat exerts behavioural and physiological effects generally similar to those seen following natural cannabinoids and synthetic cannabimimetic agents and suggests a role for AEA in regulation of various physiological processes.

Author List

Stein EA, Fuller SA, Edgemond WS, Campbell WB


William B. Campbell PhD Chair, Professor in the Pharmacology and Toxicology department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
Arachidonic Acid
Arachidonic Acids
Behavior, Animal
Blood Pressure
Calcium Channel Blockers
Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
Heart Rate
Polyunsaturated Alkamides
Rats, Sprague-Dawley
jenkins-FCD Prod-353 9ccd8489072cb19f5b9f808bb23ed672c582f41e