Elucidation of mechanisms regulating microcirculatory vascular tone is a key issue in the knowledge of human pathophysiology. Anandamide is an endogenous lipidic cannabinoid (CB) characterized by potent vasodilator activity acting mainly through the activation of CB receptors, located on the vessel walls, and the vanilloid receptor 1, located on sensory peptidergic nerve endings within the external layers of vessel walls. In humans, cutaneous anandamide administration causes forearm skin vasodilation by activating vanilloid receptor 1 presumably on primary sensory nerves, while intrabrachial infusion of the same compound is devoid of effect on forearm muscle microcirculation. Taken together, these results indicate that, apart from a possible distrectual difference, the effect of anandamide is specific for the abluminal, but not for the endoluminal, part of the vessel wall. Thus, it is conceivable that, at least in the peripheral microcirculation, this compound could act as an autocrine/paracrine agent and not as a circulating hormone. In line with this possibility, it has been demonstrated that anandamide can be produced by macrophages and therefore its biological effect might increase in clinical conditions characterized by augmented activity of this cell line, including cardiogenic, hemorrhagic and endotoxic shock and even in atherosclerosis, inflammation and ischemia. Moreover, increased serum values of anandamide have been found in patients with endotoxic shock. However, decisive information concerning the role of anandamide in humans will be obtained when specific antagonists or inhibitors will be available. In that case, the anandamide system might represent a potential target for the treatment of important cardiovascular conditions, including severe shock.
|Titolo:||Evolving the concept of regulation of vascular tone in humans.|
|Anno del prodotto:||2005|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1038/sj.bjp.0706316|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|