Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Compound boosts marijuana-like chemical in the body to relieve pain at injury site

Date:
September 21, 2010
Source:
University of California -- Irvine
Summary:
American and Italian researchers have found that a novel drug allows anandamide -- a marijuana-like chemical in the body -- to effectively control pain at the site of an injury.

American and Italian researchers have found that a novel drug allows anandamide -- a marijuana-like chemical in the body -- to effectively control pain at the site of an injury.

Led by Daniele Piomelli, the Louise Turner Arnold Chair in Neurosciences and director of the Center for Drug Discovery at UC Irvine, the study suggests that such compounds could form the basis of pain medications that don't produce sedation, addiction or other central nervous system side effects common with existing painkillers, such as opiates.

"These findings raise hope that the analgesic properties of marijuana can be harnessed to curb pain," Piomelli said. "Marijuana itself is sometimes used in clinical settings for pain relief but causes many unwanted effects. However, specific drugs that amplify the actions of natural, marijuana-like chemicals are showing great promise."

For the study, which appears in the Sept. 19 online version of Nature Neuroscience, rats and mice were given a drug created by Piomelli and colleagues at the Italian universities of Urbino and Parma. The researchers discovered that the compound, URB937, did not enter the central nervous system but simply boosted the levels of anandamide in peripheral tissues. Still, it produced a profound analgesic effect for both acute and chronic pain. This was surprising, since anandamide had been thought to only work in the brain.

The synthetic drug inhibits FAAH, an enzyme in the body that breaks down anandamide, dubbed "the bliss molecule" for its similarities to the active ingredient in marijuana. A neurotransmitter that's part of the endocannabinoid system, anandamide has been shown in studies by Piomelli and others to play analgesic, antianxiety and antidepressant roles. It's also important in regulating food consumption. Blocking FAAH activity enhances the effects of anandamide without generating the "high" seen with marijuana.

Piomelli and his team are now collaborating with drug discovery specialists at the Italian Institute of Technology, in Genoa, to develop the new compound -- which is protected by a patent application -- into a clinically useful medication.

Researchers from UCI, the University of Georgia, the University of Naples, the University of Parma, the University of Urbino and the Italian Institute of Technology participated in the study, which was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Italian Ministry of Public Education.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California -- Irvine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jason R Clapper, Guillermo Moreno-Sanz, Roberto Russo, Ana Guijarro, Federica Vacondio, Andrea Duranti, Andrea Tontini, Silvano Sanchini, Natale R Sciolino, Jessica M Spradley, Andrea G Hohmann, Antonio Calignano, Marco Mor, Giorgio Tarzia, Daniele Piomelli. Anandamide suppresses pain initiation through a peripheral endocannabinoid mechanism. Nature Neuroscience, 2010; DOI: 10.1038/nn.2632

Cite This Page:

University of California -- Irvine. "Compound boosts marijuana-like chemical in the body to relieve pain at injury site." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100920131140.htm>.
University of California -- Irvine. (2010, September 21). Compound boosts marijuana-like chemical in the body to relieve pain at injury site. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100920131140.htm
University of California -- Irvine. "Compound boosts marijuana-like chemical in the body to relieve pain at injury site." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100920131140.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) In a ruling attorneys for both sides agreed was a first of its kind, a Georgia appeals court said parents can be held liable for what kids put online. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

Buzz60 (Oct. 17, 2014) Feeling down? Reach for the refrigerator, not the medicine cabinet! TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) shares some of the best foods to boost your mood. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

Newsy (Oct. 15, 2014) Researchers claim they’ve diagnosed the first example of the disorder in a 31-year-old U.S. Navy serviceman. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Confirmed Case Of Google Glass Addiction

First Confirmed Case Of Google Glass Addiction

Buzz60 (Oct. 15, 2014) A Google Glass user was treated for Internet Addiction Disorder caused from overuse of the device. Morgan Manousos (@MorganManousos) has the details on how many hours he spent wearing the glasses, and what his symptoms were. Video provided by Buzz60
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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