Anandamide modulates sleep and memory in rats

Brain Res. 1998 Nov 23;812(1-2):270-4. doi: 10.1016/s0006-8993(98)00969-x.


In this study we have assessed the effect of the intracerebroventricular administration of anandamide (ANA) as well as its precursor metabolite arachidonic acid (AA), on the sleep-wakefulness cycle, memory formation, locomotor activity and pain perception. Our results have indicated that ANA strikingly increases slow-wave sleep (SWS)2 and rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep at the expense of wakefulness (W); while deteriorating memory consolidation. ANA also increases locomotor activity but does not modify pain perception threshold. In contrast, AA increases W and reduces SWS2, while deteriorating memory consolidation and increasing locomotor activity. AA has no effect on pain perception. These results suggest that the brain cannabinoid system participates in the modulation of the vigilance states and mnemonic processes. Additionally, they suggest that the effect on pain perception may be a peripheral rather than a central effect.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Arachidonic Acids / pharmacology*
  • Cannabinoids / pharmacology*
  • Endocannabinoids
  • Injections, Intraventricular
  • Male
  • Memory / drug effects*
  • Polyunsaturated Alkamides
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sleep / drug effects*
  • Sleep, REM / drug effects


  • Arachidonic Acids
  • Cannabinoids
  • Endocannabinoids
  • Polyunsaturated Alkamides
  • anandamide