The endocannabinoid system: A physiological perspective on its role in psychomotor control

A. Giuffrida, D. Piomelli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The discovery of cannabinoid receptors has led to the identification of two natural activators for these receptors, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, and to the elucidation of their biochemical pathways of formation and inactivation. Although the physiological significance of the endogenous cannabinoid system is still poorly understood, important information is becoming available on the possible functional roles of this system in the basal ganglia, a forebrain region that is involved in the control of sensorimotor and motivational aspects of behavior. These discoveries - which are going to enrich the way in which we look at basal ganglia functions - are summarized in this mini-review. The role of the endocannabinoids as modulators of psychomotor behaviors and the potential therapeutic perspectives deriving from the pharmacological manipulation of the endogenous cannabinoid system are also discussed. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-158
Number of pages8
JournalChemistry and Physics of Lipids
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • 2-Arachidonoylglycerol
  • Anandamide
  • Basal ganglia
  • Cannabinoid receptors
  • Dopamine
  • Psychosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Cell Biology


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