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Eur J Pharmacol. 2016 Nov 15;791:523-534. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2016.09.029. Epub 2016 Sep 20.

Pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic influence of N-palmitoylethanolamine, arachidonyl-2'-chloroethylamide and WIN 55,212-2 on the anticonvulsant activity of antiepileptic drugs against audiogenic seizures in DBA/2 mice.

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Science of Health Department, Clinical Pharmacology Unit, School of Medicine, University "Magna Graecia" of Catanzaro, Italy.
Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples "Federico II", Naples, Italy.
Department of Experimental Pharmacology, University of Messina, Messina, Italy.
Science of Health Department, Clinical Pharmacology Unit, School of Medicine, University "Magna Graecia" of Catanzaro, Italy. Electronic address:


We evaluated the effects of ACEA (selective cannabinoid (CB)1 receptor agonist), WIN 55,212-2 mesylate (WIN; non-selective CB1 and CB2 receptor agonist) and N-palmitoylethanolamine (PEA; an endogenous fatty acid of ethanolamide) in DBA/2 mice, a genetic model of reflex audiogenic epilepsy. PEA, ACEA or WIN intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration decreased the severity of tonic-clonic seizures. We also studied the effects of PEA, WIN or ACEA after co-administration with NIDA-41020 (CB1 receptor antagonist) or GW6471 (PPAR-α antagonist) and compared the effects of WIN, ACEA and PEA in order to clarify their mechanisms of action. PEA has anticonvulsant features in DBA/2 mice mainly through PPAR-α and likely indirectly on CB1 receptors, whereas ACEA and WIN act through CB1 receptors. The co-administration of ineffective doses of ACEA, PEA and WIN with some antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) was examined in order to identify potential pharmacological interactions in DBA/2 mice. We found that PEA, ACEA and WIN co-administration potentiated the efficacy of carbamazepine, diazepam, felbamate, gabapentin, phenobarbital, topiramate and valproate and PEA only also that of oxcarbazepine and lamotrigine whereas, their co-administration with levetiracetam and phenytoin did not have effects. PEA, ACEA or WIN administration did not significantly influence the total plasma and brain levels of AEDs; therefore, it can be concluded that the observed potentiation was only of pharmacodynamic nature. In conclusion, PEA, ACEA and WIN show anticonvulsant effects in DBA/2 mice and potentiate the effects several AEDs suggesting a possible therapeutic relevance of these drugs and their mechanisms of action.


Antiepileptic drugs; Audiogenic seizure model; Cannabinoid compounds; Drug interaction; PEA; PPAR-α receptors

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