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Review
, 35 (6), 284-92

COX-2-derived Endocannabinoid Metabolites as Novel Inflammatory Mediators

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Review

COX-2-derived Endocannabinoid Metabolites as Novel Inflammatory Mediators

Mireille Alhouayek et al. Trends Pharmacol Sci.

Abstract

Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is an enzyme that plays a key role in inflammatory processes. Classically, this enzyme is upregulated in inflammatory situations and is responsible for the generation of prostaglandins (PGs) from arachidonic acid (AA). One lesser-known property of COX-2 is its ability to metabolize the endocannabinoids, N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Endocannabinoid metabolism by COX-2 is not merely a means to terminate their actions. On the contrary, it generates PG analogs, namely PG-glycerol esters (PG-G) for 2-AG and PG-ethanolamides (PG-EA or prostamides) for AEA. Although the formation of these COX-2-derived metabolites of the endocannabinoids has been known for a while, their biological effects remain to be fully elucidated. Recently, several studies have focused on the role of these PG-G or PG-EA in vivo. In this review we take a closer look at the literature concerning these novel bioactive lipids and their role in inflammation.

Keywords: FAAH; MAGL; anandamide; cannabinoid; prostaglandin synthase; prostanoid.

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