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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2009 Nov;331(2):591-7. doi: 10.1124/jpet.109.158162. Epub 2009 Aug 7.

Blockade of 2-arachidonoylglycerol hydrolysis by selective monoacylglycerol lipase inhibitor 4-nitrophenyl 4-(dibenzo[d][1,3]dioxol-5-yl(hydroxy)methyl)piperidine-1-carboxylate (JZL184) Enhances retrograde endocannabinoid signaling.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226, USA.


Endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling mediates depolarization-induced suppression of excitation (DSE) and inhibition (DSI), two prominent forms of retrograde synaptic depression. N-Arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), two known eCBs, are degraded by fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), respectively. Selective blockade of FAAH and MAGL is critical for determining the roles of the eCBs in DSE/DSI and understanding how their action is regulated. 4-Nitrophenyl 4-(dibenzo[d][1,3]dioxol-5-yl(hydroxy)methyl)piperidine-1-carboxylate (JZL184) is a recently developed, highly selective, and potent MAGL inhibitor that increases 2-AG but not AEA concentrations in mouse brain. Here, we report that JZL184 prolongs DSE in Purkinje neurons in cerebellar slices and DSI in CA1 pyramidal neurons in hippocampal slices. The effect of JZL184 on DSE/DSI is mimicked by the nonselective MAGL inhibitor methyl arachidonyl fluorophosphonate. In contrast, neither the selective FAAH inhibitor cyclohexylcarbamic acid 3'-carbomoylbiphenyl-3-yl ester (URB597) nor FAAH knockout has a significant effect on DSE/DSI. JZL184 produces greater enhancement of DSE/DSI in mouse neurons than that in rat neurons. The latter finding is consistent with biochemical studies showing that JZL184 is more potent in inhibiting mouse MAGL than rat MAGL. These results indicate that the degradation of 2-AG by MAGL is the rate-limiting step that determines the time course of DSE/DSI and that JZL184 is a useful tool for the study of 2-AG-mediated signaling.

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