Effects of alterations in cannabinoid signaling, alone and in combination with morphine, on pain-elicited and pain-suppressed behavior in mice

Laurence L. Miller, Mitchell J. Picker, Michael D. Umberger, Karl T. Schmidt, Linda A. Dykstra

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Abstract

Inhibitors of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and anandamide (AEA) uptake, which limit the degradation of endogenous cannabinoids, have received interest as potential therapeutics for pain. There is also evidence that endogenous cannabinoids mediate the antinociceptive effects of opioids. Assays of pain-elicited and pain-suppressed behavior have been used to differentiate the effects of drugs that specifically alter nociception from drugs that alter nociception caused by nonspecific effects such as catalepsy or a general suppression of activity. Using such procedures, this study examines the effects of the direct cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) agonist (-)-cis-3-[2-hydroxy-4-(1,1- dimethylheptyl)phenyl]-trans-4-(3-hydroxypropyl)cyclohexanol (CP55940), the FAAH inhibitor cyclohexylcarbamic acid 3′-carbamoylbiphenyl-3-yl ester (URB597), and the AEA uptake inhibitor N-(4-hydroxyphenyl) arachidonylamide (AM404). Additional experiments examined these compounds in combination with morphine. CP55940 produced antinociception in assays of pain-elicited, but not pain-suppressed, behavior and disrupted responding in an assay of schedule-controlled behavior. URB597 and AM404 produced antinociception in assays of pain-elicited and pain-suppressed behavior in which acetic acid was the noxious stimulus, but had no effect on the hotplate and schedule-controlled responding. CP55940 in combination with morphine resulted in effects greater than those of morphine alone in assays of pain-elicited and scheduled-controlled behavior but not pain-suppressed behavior. URB597 in combination with morphine resulted in enhanced morphine effects in assays of pain-elicited and pain-suppressed behavior in which diluted acetic acid was the noxious stimulus, but did not alter morphine's effects on the hotplate or schedule-controlled responding. These studies suggest that, compared with direct CB1 agonists, manipulations of endogenous cannabinoid signaling have enhanced clinical potential; however, their effects depend on the type of noxious stimulus.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages177-187
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Volume342
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2012

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Cannabinoids
Morphine
Pain
3-(2-hydroxy-4-(1,1-dimethylheptyl)phenyl)-4-(3-hydroxypropyl)cyclohexanol
Appointments and Schedules
cyclohexyl carbamic acid 3'-carbamoylbiphenyl-3-yl ester
N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)arachidonylamide
Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists
Nociception
Acetic Acid
Pharmaceutical Preparations
fatty-acid amide hydrolase
Catalepsy
Opioid Analgesics
Esters
Acids
Therapeutics
anandamide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Molecular Medicine

Cite this

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title = "Effects of alterations in cannabinoid signaling, alone and in combination with morphine, on pain-elicited and pain-suppressed behavior in mice",
abstract = "Inhibitors of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and anandamide (AEA) uptake, which limit the degradation of endogenous cannabinoids, have received interest as potential therapeutics for pain. There is also evidence that endogenous cannabinoids mediate the antinociceptive effects of opioids. Assays of pain-elicited and pain-suppressed behavior have been used to differentiate the effects of drugs that specifically alter nociception from drugs that alter nociception caused by nonspecific effects such as catalepsy or a general suppression of activity. Using such procedures, this study examines the effects of the direct cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) agonist (-)-cis-3-[2-hydroxy-4-(1,1- dimethylheptyl)phenyl]-trans-4-(3-hydroxypropyl)cyclohexanol (CP55940), the FAAH inhibitor cyclohexylcarbamic acid 3′-carbamoylbiphenyl-3-yl ester (URB597), and the AEA uptake inhibitor N-(4-hydroxyphenyl) arachidonylamide (AM404). Additional experiments examined these compounds in combination with morphine. CP55940 produced antinociception in assays of pain-elicited, but not pain-suppressed, behavior and disrupted responding in an assay of schedule-controlled behavior. URB597 and AM404 produced antinociception in assays of pain-elicited and pain-suppressed behavior in which acetic acid was the noxious stimulus, but had no effect on the hotplate and schedule-controlled responding. CP55940 in combination with morphine resulted in effects greater than those of morphine alone in assays of pain-elicited and scheduled-controlled behavior but not pain-suppressed behavior. URB597 in combination with morphine resulted in enhanced morphine effects in assays of pain-elicited and pain-suppressed behavior in which diluted acetic acid was the noxious stimulus, but did not alter morphine's effects on the hotplate or schedule-controlled responding. These studies suggest that, compared with direct CB1 agonists, manipulations of endogenous cannabinoid signaling have enhanced clinical potential; however, their effects depend on the type of noxious stimulus.",
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