2-Arachidonoylglycerol Modulation of Anxiety and Stress Adaptation: From Grass Roots to Novel Therapeutics

Gaurav Bedse, Mathew N. Hill, Sachin Patel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Over the past decade there has been a surge of interest in the development of endocannabinoid-based therapeutic approaches for the treatment of diverse neuropsychiatric conditions. Although initial preclinical and clinical development efforts focused on pharmacological inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase to elevate levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide, more recent efforts have focused on inhibition of monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) to enhance signaling of the most abundant and efficacious endocannabinoid ligand, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). We review the biochemistry and physiology of 2-AG signaling and preclinical evidence supporting a role for this system in the regulation of anxiety-related outcomes and stress adaptation. We review preclinical evidence supporting MAGL inhibition for the treatment of affective, trauma-related, and stress-related disorders; describe the current state of MAGL inhibitor drug development; and discuss biological factors that could affect MAGL inhibitor efficacy. Issues related to the clinical advancement of MAGL inhibitors are also discussed. We are cautiously optimistic, as the field of MAGL inhibitor development transitions from preclinical to clinical and theoretical to practical, that pharmacological 2-AG augmentation could represent a mechanistically novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of affective and stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)520-530
Number of pages11
JournalBiological psychiatry
Volume88
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Amygdala
  • Anxiety
  • Cannabinoid
  • Depression
  • Endocannabinoid
  • Marijuana
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry

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