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Br J Pharmacol. 2013 Mar;168(6):1430-44. doi: 10.1111/bph.12029.

Activation and desensitization of TRPV1 channels in sensory neurons by the PPARα agonist palmitoylethanolamide.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Molise, Campobasso, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is an endogenous fatty acid amide displaying anti-inflammatory and analgesic actions. To investigate the molecular mechanism responsible for these effects, the ability of PEA and of pain-inducing stimuli such as capsaicin (CAP) or bradykinin (BK) to influence intracellular calcium concentrations ([Ca²⁺](i)) in peripheral sensory neurons, has been assessed in the present study. The potential involvement of the transcription factor PPARα and of TRPV1 channels in PEA-induced effects was also studied.

EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH:

[Ca²⁺](i) was evaluated by single-cell microfluorimetry in differentiated F11 cells. Activation of TRPV1 channels was assessed by imaging and patch-clamp techniques in CHO cells transiently-transfected with rat TRPV1 cDNA.

KEY RESULTS:

In F11 cells, PEA (1-30 μM) dose-dependently increased [Ca²⁺](i). The TRPV1 antagonists capsazepine (1 μM) and SB-366791 (1 μM), as well as the PPARα antagonist GW-6471 (10 μM), inhibited PEA-induced [Ca²⁺](i) increase; blockers of cannabinoid receptors were ineffective. PEA activated TRPV1 channels heterologously expressed in CHO cells; this effect appeared to be mediated at least in part by PPARα. When compared with CAP, PEA showed similar potency and lower efficacy, and caused stronger TRPV1 currents desensitization. Sub-effective PEA concentrations, closer to those found in vivo, counteracted CAP- and BK-induced [Ca²⁺](i) transients, as well as CAP-induced TRPV1 activation.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

Activation of PPARα and TRPV1 channels, rather than of cannabinoid receptors, largely mediate PEA-induced [Ca²⁺](i) transients in sensory neurons. Differential TRPV1 activation and desensitization by CAP and PEA might contribute to their distinct pharmacological profile, possibly translating into potentially relevant clinical differences.

PMID:
23083124
PMCID:
PMC3596648
DOI:
10.1111/bph.12029
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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