Introduction

The discovery of anandamide (arachidonoyl ethanolamide, AEA) and of its manifold roles in the central nervous system and in the periphery (reviewed in refs. 1 and 2) prompted several researchers to develop analytical methods to assay and characterize the activity of the enzymes responsible for AEA metabolism in various cells and tissues. Fatty acid amide hydrolase (arachidonoyl ethanolamide amidohydrolase, EC 3.5.1.4; FAAH) has emerged as the key AEA hydrolase, showing a molecular mass of approx 64 kDa and an optimum pH of around 9.0 (3). Recently, FAAH has been crystallized,and its three dimensional structure has been determined at 2.8A resolution (4). This enzyme cleaves the amide bond and releases arachidonic acid and ethanolamine. Highperformance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is the most widely used method to determine FAAH activity from different sources. We developed a new method (5) based on reversed-phase (RP)-HPLC and on-line scintillation counting, which combines the need for high resolution, reproducibility, and sensitivity

From: Methods in Molecular Medicine: Marijuana and Cannabinoid Research: Methods and Protocols Edited by: E. S. Onaivi © Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ

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