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Br J Pharmacol. 2011 Aug;163(7):1464-78. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2010.01192.x.

Peripheral antinociceptive effects of inhibitors of monoacylglycerol lipase in a rat model of inflammatory pain.

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Neuroscience and Behavior Program, Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA.


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) is degraded primarily by monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL). We compared peripheral antinociceptive effects of JZL184, a novel irreversible MGL inhibitor, with the reversible MGL-preferring inhibitor URB602 and exogenous 2-AG in rats. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH Nociception in the formalin test was assessed in groups receiving dorsal paw injections of vehicle, JZL184 (0.001-300 µg), URB602 (0.001-600 µg), 2-AG (ED(50)), 2-AG + JZL184 (at their ED(50)), 2-AG + URB602 (at their ED(50)), AM251 (80 µg), AM251 + JZL184 (10 µg), AM630 (25 µg) or AM630 + JZL184 (10 µg). Effects of MGL inhibitors on endocannabinoid accumulation and on activities of endocannabinoid-metabolizing enzymes were assessed. KEY RESULTS Intra-paw administration of JZL184, URB602 and 2-AG suppressed early and late phases of formalin pain. JZL184 and URB602 acted through a common mechanism. JZL184 (ED(50) Phase 1: 0.06 ± 0.028; Phase 2: 0.03 ± 0.011 µg) produced greater antinociception than URB602 (ED(50) Phase 1: 120 ± 51.3; Phase 2: 66 ± 23.9 µg) or 2-AG. Both MGL inhibitors produced additive antinociceptive effects when combined with 2-AG. Antinociceptive effects of JZL184, like those of URB602, were blocked by cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB(1)) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB(2)) antagonists. JZL184 suppressed MGL but not fatty-acid amide hydrolase or N-arachidonoyl-phosphatidylethanolamine phospholipase D activities ex vivo. URB602 increased hind paw 2-AG without altering anandamide levels. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS MGL inhibitors suppressed formalin-induced pain through peripheral CB(1) and CB(2) receptor mechanisms. MGL inhibition increased paw skin 2-AG accumulation to mediate these effects. MGL represents a target for the treatment of inflammatory pain.

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