Oxidative metabolism of anandamide

Prostaglandins Other Lipid Mediat. 2000 Apr;61(1-2):29-41. doi: 10.1016/s0090-6980(00)00053-8.


In addition to the well studied hydrolytic metabolism of anandamide, a number of oxidative processes are also possible. Several routes somewhat analogous to the metabolism of free arachidonic acid have been reported. These involve mediation by various lipoxygenases and COX-2 and lead to ethanolamide analogs of the prostaglandins and HETES. The physiological significance of these products is not well understood at this time. There are also preliminary data suggesting a pathway involving oxidation of the hydroxy group of anandamide to a putative metabolite, N-arachidonyl glycine (AA-gly). This molecule displays activities in experimental models that suggest that it may play a role in some of the activities attributed to its precursor, anandamide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Arachidonic Acids / metabolism*
  • Cannabinoids / metabolism*
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Endocannabinoids
  • Humans
  • Hydrolysis
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Polyunsaturated Alkamides
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / metabolism


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Arachidonic Acids
  • Cannabinoids
  • Endocannabinoids
  • Isoenzymes
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Polyunsaturated Alkamides
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • PTGS2 protein, human
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases
  • anandamide