Skip to main content

Regulating anxiety in the brain

Apr. 28, 2017, 9:05 AM

(iStock)

Mood and anxiety disorders are on the rise, and effective new treatments are critically needed.

Endogenous cannabinoids (eCB) are the brain’s own version of THC, the psychoactive constitutive of cannabis. Augmenting eCB signaling has been suggested as a novel approach for treating anxiety disorders.

Gaurav Bedse, Ph.D., Sachin Patel, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues explored interactions between two different eCB pathways – one mediated by anandamide and the other by 2-AG (2-arachidonoylglycerol) – in the regulation of anxiety.

Using pharmacological tools, behavioral mouse models and electrophysiological approaches, the investigators demonstrated that the anandamide and 2-AG pathways are functionally redundant: anxiety-like behaviors associated with depletion of anandamide can be normalized by augmenting 2-AG, and vice versa.

The research, reported in Biological Psychiatry, supports the development of eCB-based treatment approaches for mood and anxiety disorders and suggests that any approaches developed specifically for anandamide or 2-AG signaling will have wider therapeutic overlap than previously expected.

This research was supported by H. Lundbeck A/S, Copenhagen, Denmark and National Institutes of Health grants (MH107435, MH111103).

Send suggestions for articles to highlight in Aliquots and any other feedback about the column to aliquots@vanderbilt.edu

Recent Stories from VUMC News and Communications Publications

Marissa Benchea has CF, and she is one of hundreds of thousands of adults not only surviving but thriving with a chronic childhood disease.

Vanderbilt Medicine

Marissa Benchea has CF, and she is one of hundreds of thousands of adults not only surviving but thriving with a chronic childhood disease.

One hundred years ago, multiple “waves” of a deadly flu swept across the world.

Vanderbilt Medicine

One hundred years ago, multiple “waves” of a deadly flu swept across the world.

A diagnosis of cancer at any age is tragic, but during the adolescent and young adult years, it’s especially complicated.

Hope

A diagnosis of cancer at any age is tragic, but during the adolescent and young adult years, it’s especially complicated.

Karen Dyer Young cares for patients and members of the Dayani Center who have or are recovering from cancer or a stem cell transplant.

Momentum

Karen Dyer Young cares for patients and members of the Dayani Center who have or are recovering from cancer or a stem cell transplant.

more