Background and Purpose:
Cannabinoids are associated with analgesia in acute and chronic pain states. A spectrum of central cannabinoid (CB1) receptor-mediated motor and psychotropic side effects limit their therapeutic potential. Here, we investigate the analgesic effect of the palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) analogue, palmitoylallylamide (L-29), which via inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) may potentiate endocannabinoids thereby avoiding psychotropic side effects.
The in vivo analysis of the effect of L-29 on measures of pain behaviour in three rat models of neuropathic pain.
Systemically administered L-29 (10 mg kg−1) reduced hypersensitivity to mechanical and thermal stimuli in the partial sciatic nerve injury (PSNI) model of neuropathic pain; and mechanical hypersensitivity in a model of antiretroviral (ddC)-associated hypersensitivity and a model of varicella zoster virus (VZV)-associated hypersensitivity. The effects of L-29 were comparable to those of gabapentin (50 mg kg−1). The CB1 receptor antagonist SR141716a (1 mg kg−1) and the CB2 receptor antagonist SR144528 (1 mg kg−1) reduced the effect of L-29 on hypersensitivity in the PSNI and ddC models, but not in the VZV model. The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α antagonist, MK-886 (1 mg kg−1), partially attenuated the effect of L-29 on hypersensitivity in the PSNI model. L-29 (10 mg kg−1) significantly attenuated thigmotactic behaviour in the open field arena without effect on locomotor activity.
Conclusions and Implications:
L-29 produces analgesia in a range of neuropathic pain models. This presents L-29 as a novel analgesic compound that may target the endogenous cannabinoid system while avoiding undesirable side effects associated with direct cannabinoid receptor activation.