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Papers of the Week

Papers: 6 Feb 2021 - 12 Feb 2021

Pharmacology/Drug Development

2021 02 10

Nat Commun



Anti-inflammatory dopamine- and serotonin-based endocannabinoid epoxides reciprocally regulate cannabinoid receptors and the TRPV1 channel.


Arnold WR, Carnevale LN, Xie Z, Baylon JL, Tajkhorshid E, Hu H, Das A
Nat Commun. 2021 02 10; 12(1):926.
PMID: 33568652.


The endocannabinoid system is a promising target to mitigate pain as the endocannabinoids are endogenous ligands of the pain-mediating receptors-cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2) and TRPV1. Herein, we report on a class of lipids formed by the epoxidation of N-arachidonoyl-dopamine (NADA) and N-arachidonoyl-serotonin (NA5HT) by epoxygenases. EpoNADA and epoNA5HT are dual-functional rheostat modulators of the endocannabinoid-TRPV1 axis. EpoNADA and epoNA5HT are stronger modulators of TRPV1 than either NADA or NA5HT, and epoNA5HT displays a significantly stronger inhibition on TRPV1-mediated responses in primary afferent neurons. Moreover, epoNA5HT is a full CB1 agonist. These epoxides reduce the pro-inflammatory biomarkers IL-6, IL-1β, TNF-α and nitrous oxide and raise anti-inflammatory IL-10 cytokine in activated microglial cells. The epoxides are spontaneously generated by activated microglia cells and their formation is potentiated in the presence of anandamide. Detailed kinetics and molecular dynamics simulation studies provide evidence for this potentiation using the epoxygenase human CYP2J2. Taken together, inflammation leads to an increase in the metabolism of NADA, NA5HT and other eCBs by epoxygenases to form the corresponding epoxides. The epoxide metabolites are bioactive lipids that are potent, multi-faceted molecules, capable of influencing the activity of CB1, CB2 and TRPV1 receptors.