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Chem Biol. 2010 Nov 24;17(11):1256-66. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2010.08.013.

Inhibitor of fatty acid amide hydrolase normalizes cardiovascular function in hypertension without adverse metabolic effects.

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  • 1Laboratory of Physiologic Studies, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, 5625 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852, USA.


The enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) catalyzes the in vivo degradation of the endocannabinoid anandamide, thus controlling its action at receptors. A novel FAAH inhibitor, AM3506, normalizes the elevated blood pressure and cardiac contractility of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) without affecting these parameters in normotensive rats. These effects are due to blockade of FAAH and a corresponding rise in brain anandamide levels, resulting in CB₁ receptor-mediated decrease in sympathetic tone. The supersensitivity of SHR to CB₁ receptor-mediated cardiovascular depression is related to increased G protein coupling of CB₁ receptors. Importantly, AM3506 does not elicit hyperglycemia and insulin resistance seen with other FAAH inhibitors or in FAAH⁻/⁻ mice, which is related to its inability to inhibit FAAH in the liver due to rapid hepatic uptake and metabolism. This unique activity profile offers improved therapeutic value in hypertension.

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