Acute effects of endocannabinoid anandamide and CB1 receptor antagonist, AM251 in the regulation of thyrotropin secretion

J Endocrinol. 2008 Nov;199(2):235-42. doi: 10.1677/JOE-08-0380. Epub 2008 Aug 28.


We examined the acute effects of endocannabinoid, anandamide, and of synthetic cannabinoid receptor antagonist, AM251[N-(piperidin-1-yl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-4-methyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamide], on TSH, thyroxine (T(4)), and triiodothyronine (T(3)) secretions. Euthyroid male rats showed a 42% decrease in serum TSH, 2 h after a single i.p. injection of 0.02, but not 0.2 mg/kg body weight (BW), anandamide, accompanied by a 39% reduction in serum T(4), without alteration in serum T(3). At 0.5 and 1 h, these serum hormones showed no significant change. Hypothyroid rats showed a 35% reduction in serum TSH (P<0.01), 2 h after anandamide injection, which had no effect on hyperthyroid rats. In both thyroid states, no modification of serum thyroid hormones was observed. Intraperitoneal injection of 0.17 or 1.7 mg/kg BW AM251 in euthyroid rats caused, 1.5 h later, 1.7-fold or 4.3-fold increase in serum TSH respectively, without changing thyroid hormones. Stimulatory effect of 0.17 mg/kg BW AM251 and inhibitory effect of anandamide was abolished in the group injected with AM251 followed by an anandamide injection, 30 min later. Intracerebroventricular injection of 20 ng (but not 200 ng) anandamide induced a decrease in serum TSH at 60 min after injection, which tended to disappear at 120 min. Anterior pituitary explants presented significant reduction in TSH release in the presence of 10(-7) M anandamide in incubation medium, which was blocked by 10(-7) M AM251. In conclusion, anandamide has the ability to acutely inhibit TSH release in eu- and hypothyroid rats, acting at the hypothalamus-pituitary axis. Since, in addition, the cannabinoid receptor antagonist AM251 increased TSH release, we suggest that endocannabinoid system has a role as negative regulator of TSH secretion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arachidonic Acids / administration & dosage
  • Arachidonic Acids / pharmacology*
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Modulators / administration & dosage
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Modulators / pharmacology*
  • Endocannabinoids*
  • Hyperthyroidism / blood
  • Hyperthyroidism / drug therapy
  • Hypothyroidism / blood
  • Hypothyroidism / drug therapy
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Piperidines / pharmacology*
  • Pituitary Gland / drug effects
  • Pituitary Gland / metabolism
  • Polyunsaturated Alkamides / administration & dosage
  • Polyunsaturated Alkamides / pharmacology*
  • Pyrazoles / pharmacology*
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Thyrotropin / blood
  • Thyrotropin / metabolism*
  • Thyroxine / blood
  • Triiodothyronine / blood


  • Arachidonic Acids
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Modulators
  • Endocannabinoids
  • Piperidines
  • Polyunsaturated Alkamides
  • Pyrazoles
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1
  • Triiodothyronine
  • AM 251
  • Thyrotropin
  • Thyroxine
  • anandamide