Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Marijuana derivative could be useful for pain treatment

Date:
July 10, 2010
Source:
International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS)
Summary:
A new compound similar to the active component of marijuana (cannabis) might provide effective pain relief without the mental and physical side effects of cannabis, according to a new study.

A new compound similar to the active component of marijuana (cannabis) might provide effective pain relief without the mental and physical side effects of cannabis, according to a study in the July issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia, official journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS).

The synthetic cannabinoid (cannabis-related) compound, called MDA19, seems to avoid side effects by acting mainly on one specific subtype of the cannabinoid receptor. "MDA19 has the potential for alleviating neuropathic pain without producing adverse effects in the central nervous system," according to the study by Dr Mohamed Naguib of The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

MDA19 Works on a Single Cannabinoid Receptor

The researchers performed a series of experiments to analyze the pharmacology and effects of the synthetic cannabinoid MDA19. There are two subtypes of the cannabinoid chemical receptor: CB1, found mainly in the brain; and CB2, found mainly in the peripheral immune system. Dr. Naguib's group has been doing research to see if the cannabinoid receptors -- particularly CB2 -- can be a useful target for new drugs to treat neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain is a difficult-to-treat type of pain caused by nerve damage, common in patients with trauma, diabetes, and other conditions.

MDA19 was designed to have a much stronger effect on the CB2 receptor than on the CB1 receptor. In humans, MDA19 showed four times greater activity on the CB2 receptor than on the CB1 receptor. In rats, the difference was even greater. The experiments also showed that MDA19 had "protean" effects, so-called after the shape-shifting Greek sea god Proteus -- under different conditions, it could either block or activate the cannabinoid receptors.

In rats, treatment with MDA19 effectively reduced specific types of neuropathic pain, with greater effects at higher doses. At the same time, it did not seem to cause any of the behavioral effects associated with marijuana.

Potential to Develop Effective Pain Drugs that Avoid Side Effects The "functional selectivity" of MDA19 -- the fact that it acts mainly on the CB2 receptor and has a range of effects under differing conditions -- could have important implications for drug development. "[W]ith functionally selective drugs, it would be possible to separate the desired from the undesired effects of a single molecule through a single receptor," Dr. Naguib and colleagues write.

This means that MDA19 could be a promising step toward developing medications that have the pain-reducing effect of cannabinoids while avoiding the mental and physical side effects of marijuana itself. However, more research will be needed before MDA19 or other agents that act on the CB2 receptor are ready for testing in humans.

"These elegant studies by Professor Naguib demonstrate remarkable analgesic properties for this synthetic cannabinoid," comments Dr. Steven L. Shafer of Columbia University, Editor-in-Chief of Anesthesia &Analgesia. "The studies suggest a novel mechanism for this protean agonist. Although preliminary, these studies suggest that synthetic cannabinoids may be significant step forward for patients suffering from neuropathic pain."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jijun J. Xu et al. Pharmacological Characterization of a Novel Cannabinoid Ligand, MDA19, for Treatment of Neuropathic Pain. Anesthesia & Analgesia, July 2010 vol. 111 no. 1 99-109 [link]

Cite This Page:

International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS). "Marijuana derivative could be useful for pain treatment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100707222548.htm>.
International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS). (2010, July 10). Marijuana derivative could be useful for pain treatment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100707222548.htm
International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS). "Marijuana derivative could be useful for pain treatment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100707222548.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — A study by King's College London says there's a link between how well kids draw at age 4 and how intelligent they are later in life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins