FAAH inhibition attenuates TLR3-mediated hyperthermia, nociceptive- and anxiety-like behaviour in female rats

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Abstract

Aberrant activation of toll-like receptor (TLR)s results in persistent and prolonged neuroinflammation and has been implicated in the pathogenesis and exacerbation of psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. TLR3 coordinates the innate immune response to viral infection and recent data have demonstrated that inhibiting fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), the enzyme that primarily metabolizes anandamide, modulates TLR3-mediated neuroinflammation. However, the physiological and behavioural consequences of such modulation are unknown. The present study examined the effect of URB597, a selective FAAH inhibitor, on neuroinflammation, physiological and behavioural alterations following administration of the TLR3 agonist and viral mimetic poly I:C to female rats. URB597 attenuated TLR3-mediated fever, mechanical and cold allodynia, and anxiety-like behaviour in the elevated plus maze and open field arena. There was no effect of URB597 on TLR3-mediated decreases in body weight and no effect in the sucrose preference or forced swim tests. URB597 attenuated the TLR3-mediated increase in the expression of CD11b and CD68, markers of microglia/macrophage activation. In summary, these data demonstrate that enhancing FAAH substrate levels suppresses TLR3-mediated microglia/macrophage activation and associated changes in fever, nociceptive responding and anxiety-related behaviour. These data provide further support for FAAH as a novel therapeutic target for neuroinflammatory disorders.

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