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Monoacylglycerol Lipase Inhibition in Human and Rodent Systems Supports Clinical Evaluation of Endocannabinoid Modulators

Publication
October 11, 2018

Abstract:

Monoacylglycerol lipase (MGLL) is the primary degradative enzyme for the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). The first MGLL inhibitors have recently entered clinical development for the treatment of neurological disorders. To support this clinical path, we report the pharmacological characterization of the highly potent and selective MGLL inhibitor ABD-1970 (1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoropropan-2-yl 4-(2-(8-oxa-3-azabicyclo[3.2.1]octan-3-yl)-4-chlorobenzyl)piperazine-1-carboxylate). We used ABD-1970 to confirm the role of MGLL in human systems and to define the relationship between MGLL target engagement, brain 2-AG concentrations and efficacy. As MGLL contributes to arachidonic acid (AA) metabolism in a subset of rodent tissues, we further used ABD-1970 to evaluate whether selective MGLL inhibition would affect prostanoid production in several human assays known to be sensitive to cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitors. ABD-1970 robustly elevated brain 2-AG content and displayed antinociceptive and anti-pruritic activity in a battery of rodent models (ED50 values of 1-2 mg/kg). The antinociceptive effects of ABD-1970 were potentiated when combined with analgesic standards of care and occurred without overt cannabimimetic effects. ABD-1970 also blocked 2-AG hydrolysis in human brain tissue and elevated 2-AG content in human blood without affecting stimulated prostanoid production. These findings support the clinical development of MGLL inhibitors as a differentiated mechanism to treat pain and other neurological disorders.

Full Article: http://jpet.aspetjournals.org/...

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