N-acylethanolamines (NAEs) comprise a family of bioactive lipid molecules present in animal and plant tissues, with N-palmitoylethanolamine (PEA) having received much attention owing to its anti-inflammatory, analgesic and neuroprotective activities.
2-Pentadecyl-2-oxazoline (PEA-OXA), the oxazoline of PEA, reportedly modulates activity of N-acylethanolamine-hydrolyzing acid amidase (NAAA), which catabolizes PEA. Because PEA is produced on demand and exerts pleiotropic effects on non-neuronal cells implicated in neuroinflammation, modulating the specific amidases for NAEs (NAAA in particular) could be a way to preserve PEA role in maintaining cellular homeostasis through its rapid on-demand synthesis and equally rapid degradation. This study provides the first description of PEA-OXA in both green and roasted coffee beans and Moka infusions, and its synthesis. In an established model of carrageenan (CAR)-induced rat paw inflammation, PEA-OXA was orally active in limiting histological damage and thermal hyperalgesia 6 h after CAR intraplantar injection in the right hindpaw and the accumulation of infiltrating inflammatory cells. PEA-OXA appeared to be more potent compared to ultramicronized PEA given orally at the same dose (10 mg/kg). PEA-OXA markedly reduced also the increase in hindpaw myeloperoxidase activity, an index of polymorphonuclear cell accumulation in inflammatory tissues. NAAA modulators like PEA-OXA may serve to maximize availability of NAEs (e.g. PEA) while providing for recycling of the NAE components for further resynthesis.