1 There is some dispute concerning the extent to which the uptake inhibitor VDM11 (N‐(4‐hydroxy‐2‐methylphenyl) arachidonoyl amide) is capable of inhibiting the metabolism of the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA) by fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). In view of a recent study demonstrating that the closely related compound AM404 (N‐(4‐hydroxyphenyl)arachidonylamide) is a substrate for FAAH, we re‐examined the interaction of VDM11 with FAAH. 2 In the presence of fatty acid‐free bovine serum albumin (BSA, 0.125% w v−1), both AM404 and VDM11 inhibited the metabolism of AEA by rat brain FAAH with similar potencies (IC50 values of 2.1 and 2.6 μM, respectively). The compounds were about 10‐fold less potent as inhibitors of the metabolism of 2‐oleoylglycerol (2‐OG) by cytosolic monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL). 3 The potency of VDM11 towards FAAH was dependent upon the assay concentration of fatty acid‐free bovine serum albumin (BSA). Thus, in the absence of fatty acid‐free BSA, the IC50 value for inhibition of FAAH was reduced by a factor of about two (from 2.9 to 1.6 μM). A similar reduction in the IC50 value for the inhibition of membrane bound MAGL by both this compound (from 14 to 6 μM) and by arachidonoyl serinol (from 24 to 13 μM) was seen. 4 An HPLC assay was set up to measure 4‐amino‐m‐cresol, the hypothesised product of FAAH‐catalysed VDM11 hydrolysis. 4‐Amino‐m‐cresol was eluted with a retention time of ∼2.4 min, but showed a time‐dependent degradation to compounds eluting at peaks of ∼5.6 and ∼8 min. Peaks with the same retention times were also found following incubation of the membranes with VDM11, but were not seen when the membranes were preincubated with the FAAH inhibitors URB597 (3′‐carbamoyl‐biphenyl‐3‐yl‐cyclohexylcarbamate) and CAY10401 (1‐oxazolo(4,5‐b)pyridin‐2‐yl‐9‐octadecyn‐1‐one) prior to addition of VDM11. The rate of metabolism of VDM11 was estimated to be roughly 15–20% of that for anandamide. 5 It is concluded that VDM11 is an inhibitor of FAAH under the assay conditions used here, and that the inhibition may at least in part be a consequence of the compound acting as an alternative substrate. British Journal of Pharmacology (2005) 145, 885–893. doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0706253
British Journal of Pharmacology – Wiley
Published: Aug 1, 2005
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