Anandamide (N-arachidonoylethanolamine, AEA) belongs to an emerging class of endogenous lipids, called "endocannabinoids". A specific AEA membrane transporter (AMT) allows the import of this lipid and its degradation by the intracellular enzyme AEA hydrolase. Here, we show that synaptosomes from human, mouse and rat brain might be an ideal ex vivo system for the study of: i) the accumulation of AEA in brain, and ii) the pharmacological properties of AMT inhibitors. Using this ex vivo system, we demonstrate for the first time that glutamine and glutamate act as non-competitive inhibitors of AEA uptake by human, mouse and rat brain AMT.
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