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FEBS Lett. 1997 Feb 24;403(3):263-7.

Inhibition of anandamide hydrolysis in rat brain tissue by (E)-6-(bromomethylene) tetrahydro-3-(1-naphthalenyl)-2H-pyran-2-one.

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Neurosciences Institute, San Diego, CA 92121, USA.


Anandamide, an endogenous canabinoid substance, is hydrolyzed by an amidohydrolase activity present in rat brain and liver. We report that the bromoenol lactone, (E)-6-(bromomethylene) tetrahydro-3-(1-naphthalenyl)-2H-pyran-2-one (BTNP), is a potent inhibitor of this enzyme activity. BTNP prevented anandamide hydrolysis in rat brain microsomes with an IC50 of 0.8 +/- 0.3 microM. Kinetic and dialysis experiments indicated that this effect was non-competitive and irreversible. After chromatographic fractionation of the enzyme activity, BTNP was still effective, suggesting that it interacts directly with the enzyme. Anandamide hydrolysis was 12-fold greater in rat cortical neurons (1.94 +/- 0.1 pmol/min/mg protein) than in cortical astrocytes (0.16 +/- 0.01 pmol/min/mg protein) and, in either cell type, it was inhibited by BTNP (IC50 = 0.1 microM in neurons). These results suggest that BTNP may provide a useful lead for the development of novel inhibitors of anandamide hydrolysis.

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