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Synergy between Enzyme Inhibitors of Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase and Cyclooxygenase in Visceral Nociception

By Pattipati S. Naidu, Lamont Booker, Benjamin F. Cravatt and Aron H. Lichtman


The present study investigated whether inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), the enzyme responsible for anandamide catabolism, produces antinociception in the acetic acid-induced abdominal stretching model of visceral nociception. Genetic deletion or pharmacological inhibition of FAAH reduced acetic acid-induced abdominal stretching. Transgenic mice that express FAAH exclusively in the nervous system displayed the antinociceptive phenotype, indicating the involvement of peripheral fatty acid amides. The cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) receptor antagonist, rimonabant, but not the cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) receptor antagonist, SR144528, blocked the antinociceptive phenotype of FAAH(-/-) mice and the analgesic effects of URB597 (3′-carbamoyl-biphenyl-3-yl-cyclohexylcarbamate) or OL-135 (1-oxo-1[5-(2-pyridyl)-2-yl]-7-phenyl heptane), respective irreversible and reversible FAAH inhibitors, administered to C57BL/6 mice. The opioid receptor antagonist, naltrexone, did not block the analgesic effects of either FAAH inhibitor. URB597, ED50 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.1 (1.5-2.9) mg/kg], and the nonselective cyclooxygenase inhibitor, diclofenac sodium [ED50 (95% CI) = 9.8 (8.2-11.7) mg/kg], dose-dependently inhibited acetic acid-induced abdominal stretching. Combinations of URB597 and diclofenac yielded synergistic analgesic interactions according to isobolographic analysis. It is important that FAAH(-/-) mice and URB597-treated mice displayed significant reductions in the severity of gastric irritation caused by diclofenac. URB597 lost its gastroprotective effects in CB1(-/-) mice, whereas it maintained its efficacy in CB2(-/-) mice, indicating a CB1 mechanism of action. Taken together, the results of the present study suggest that FAAH represents a promising target for the treatment of visceral pain, and a combination of FAAH inhibitors and NSAIDs may have great utility to treat visceral pain, with reduced gastric toxicity

Topics: Behavioral Pharmacology
Publisher: American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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