Cerebrospinal anandamide levels are elevated in acute schizophrenia and are inversely correlated with psychotic symptoms

Andrea Giuffrida, F. Markus Leweke, Christoph W. Gerth, Daniela Schreiber, Dagmar Koethe, Johannes Faulhaber, Joachim Klosterkötter, Daniele Piomelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

354 Scopus citations

Abstract

The endocannabinoids are a family of bioactive lipids that activate CB 1 cannabinoid receptors in the brain and exert intense emotional and cognitive effects. Here, we have examined the role of endocannabinoid signaling in psychotic states by measuring levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of acute paranoid-type schizophrenic patients. We found that CSF anandamide levels are eight-fold higher in antipsychotic- naïve first-episode paranoid schizophrenics (n = 47) than healthy controls (n = 84), dementia patients (n = 13) or affective disorder patients (n = 11). Such an alteration is absent in schizophrenics treated with 'typical' antipsychotics (n = 37), which antagonize dopamine D2-like receptors, but not in those treated with 'atypical' antipsychotics (n = 34), which preferentially antagonize 5HT2A receptors. Furthermore, we found that, in nonmedicated acute schizophrenics, CSF anandamide is negatively correlated with psychotic symptoms (rs = -0.452, P = 0.001). The results suggest that anandamide elevation in acute paranoid schizophrenia may reflect a compensatory adaptation to the disease state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2108-2114
Number of pages7
JournalNeuropsychopharmacology
Volume29
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2004

Keywords

  • Anandamide
  • Antipsychotic
  • Cannabinoids
  • Dopamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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