Analgesic effects of fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibition in a rat model of neuropathic pain.
ABSTRACT Cannabinoid-based medicines have therapeutic potential for the treatment of pain. Augmentation of levels of endocannabinoids with inhibitors of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) is analgesic in models of acute and inflammatory pain states. The aim of this study was to determine whether local inhibition of FAAH alters nociceptive responses of spinal neurons in the spinal nerve ligation model of neuropathic pain. Electrophysiological studies were performed 14-18 d after spinal nerve ligation or sham surgery, and the effects of the FAAH inhibitor cyclohexylcarbamic acid 3-carbamoyl biphenyl-3-yl ester (URB597) on mechanically evoked responses of spinal neurons and levels of endocannabinoids were determined. Intraplantar URB597 (25 microg in 50 microl) significantly (p < 0.01) attenuated mechanically evoked responses of spinal neurons in sham-operated rats. Effects of URB597 were blocked by the cannabinoid 1 receptor (CB1) antagonist AM251 [N-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-5-(4-iodophenyl)-4-methyl-N-1-piperidinyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamide] (30 microg in 50 microl) and the opioid receptor antagonist naloxone. URB597 treatment increased levels of anandamide, 2-arachidonyl glycerol, and oleoyl ethanolamide in the ipsilateral hindpaw of sham-operated rats. Intraplantar URB597 (25 microg in 50 microl) did not, however, alter mechanically evoked responses of spinal neurons in spinal nerve ligated (SNL) rats or hindpaw levels of endocannabinoids. Intraplantar injection of a higher dose of URB597 (100 microg in 50 microl) significantly (p < 0.05) attenuated evoked responses of spinal neurons in SNL rats but did not alter hindpaw levels of endocannabinoids. Spinal administration of URB597 attenuated evoked responses of spinal neurons and elevated levels of endocannabinoids in sham-operated and SNL rats. These data suggest that peripheral FAAH activity may be altered or that alternative pathways of metabolism have greater importance in SNL rats.
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ABSTRACT: Primary sensory afferents and their neighboring host-defense cells are a rich source of lipid-derived mediators that contribute to the sensation of pain caused by tissue damage and inflammation. But an increasing number of lipid molecules have been shown to act in an opposite way, to suppress the inflammatory process, restore homeostasis in damaged tissues and attenuate pain sensitivity by regulating neural pathways that transmit nociceptive signals from the periphery of the body to the CNS. Here we review the molecular and cellular mechanisms that contribute to the modulatory actions of lipid mediators in peripheral nociceptive signaling.Nature Neuroscience 02/2014; 17(2):164-74. · 15.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The quest for possible targets for the development of novel analgesics has identified the activation of the cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor outside the CNS as a potential means of providing relief from persistent pain, which currently constitutes an unmet medical need. Increasing tissue levels of the CB1 receptor endogenous ligand N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide), by inhibiting anandamide degradation through blocking the anandamide-hydrolysing enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase, has been suggested to be used to activate the CB1 receptor. However, recent clinical trials revealed that this approach does not deliver the expected relief from pain. Here, we discuss one of the possible reasons, the activation of the transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 ion channel (TRPV1) on nociceptive primary sensory neurons (PSNs) by anandamide, which may compromise the beneficial effects of increased tissue levels of anandamide. We conclude that better design such as concomitant blocking of anandamide hydrolysis and anandamide uptake into PSNs, to inhibit TRPV1 activation, could overcome these problems.European Journal of Neuroscience 02/2014; 39(3):409-18. · 3.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cannabinoid receptor (CBR) agonists produce antinociception in conventional preclinical assays of pain-stimulated behavior but are not effective in preclinical assays of pain-depressed behavior. Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitors increase physiological levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide, which may confer improved efficacy and safety relative to direct CBR agonists. To further evaluate FAAH inhibitors as candidate analgesics, this study assessed the effects of the FAAH inhibitor URB597 in assays of acute pain-stimulated and pain-depressed behavior in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Intraperitoneal injection of dilute lactic acid served as a noxious stimulus to stimulate a stretching response or depress positively reinforced operant behavior (intracranial self-stimulation), and URB597 was tested 1 and 4 h after administration. Consistent with FAAH inhibitor effects in other assays of pain-stimulated behavior, URB597 (1-10 mg/kg intraperitoneally) produced dose-related and CB1R-mediated decreases in acid-stimulated stretching. Conversely, in the assay of acid-depressed intracranial self-stimulation, URB597 produced a delayed, partial and non-CBR-mediated antinociceptive effect. The antinociceptive dose of URB597 (10 mg/kg) increased plasma and brain anandamide levels. These results suggest that URB597 produces antinociception in these models of 'pain stimulated' and 'pain depressed' behavior, but with different rates of onset and differential involvement of CBRs.Behavioural pharmacology 02/2014; · 2.85 Impact Factor