The multiplicity of spinal AA-5-HT anti-nociceptive action in a rat model of neuropathic pain

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Abstract

There is considerable evidence to support the role of anandamide (AEA), an endogenous ligand of cannabinoid receptors, in neuropathic pain modulation. AEA also produces effects mediated by other biological targets, of which the transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) has been the most investigated. Both, inhibition of AEA breakdown by fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and blockage of TRPV1 have been shown to produce anti-nociceptive effects. Recent research suggests the usefulness of dual-action compounds, which may afford greater anti-allodynic efficacy. Therefore, in the present study, we examined the effect of N-arachidonoyl-serotonin (AA-5-HT), a blocker of FAAH and TRPV1, in a rat model of neuropathic pain after intrathecal administration. We found that treatment with AA-5-HT increased the pain threshold to mechanical and thermal stimuli, with highest effect at the dose of 500 nM, which was most strongly attenuated by AM-630, CB2 antagonist, administration. The single action blockers PF-3845 (1000 nM, for FAAH) and I-RTX (1 nM, for TRPV1) showed lower efficacy than AA-5-HT. Moreover AA-5-HT (500 nM) elevated AEA and palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) levels. Among the possible targets of these mediators, only the mRNA levels of CB2, GPR18 and GPR55, which are believed to be novel cannabinoid receptors, were upregulated in the spinal cord and/or DRG of CCI rats. It was previously reported that AA-5-HT acts in CB1 and TRPV1-dependent manner after systemic administration, but here for the first time we show that AA-5-HT action at the spinal level involves CB2, with potential contributions from GRP18 and/or GPR55 receptors.

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