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, 94 (3), 507-13; discussion 6A

Administration of Endocannabinoids Prevents a Referred Hyperalgesia Associated With Inflammation of the Urinary Bladder


Administration of Endocannabinoids Prevents a Referred Hyperalgesia Associated With Inflammation of the Urinary Bladder

W P Farquhar-Smith et al. Anesthesiology.


Background: Referred hyperalgesia to a somatopically appropriate superficial site is a cardinal symptom of visceral inflammatory pain and has been demonstrated after turpentine-induced urinary bladder inflammation in the rat. The authors examined the effect of the endocannabinoids anandamide and palmitoylethanolamide on the referred hyperalgesia associated with this model.

Methods: After measurement of baseline limb withdrawal latencies to a noxious heat stimulus, the bladders of 50 female Wistar rats were inflamed by intravesical administration of 0.5 ml 50% turpentine. Ten or 25 mg/kg of anandamide or palmitoylethanolamide or vehicle were administered immediately before introduction of turpentine. Antagonists to both the cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors were coadministered with the higher dose of endocannabinoids. Latencies were recorded 2, 4, 6, 8, and 24 h after removal of turpentine. The difference between forelimb and hind limb withdrawal latencies was plotted against time, and areas under these curves were compared.

Results: Inflammation of the urinary bladder was associated with a relative thermal hyperalgesia referred to the hind limb. Anandamide and palmitoylethanolamide attenuated this referred hyperalgesia at doses of 10 and 25 mg/kg. The CB1 receptor antagonist SR141716A reduced the antihyperalgesic effect of anandamide, but the CB2 antagonist SR144528 did not. Coadministration of SR141716A with palmitoylethanolamide did not affect the antihyperalgesic effect but was reduced by SR144528.

Conclusions: Anandamide (via CB1 receptors) and palmitoylethanolamide (putatively via CB2 receptors) attenuated a referred hyperalgesia in a dose-dependent fashion. CB1 and CB2 receptors are strategically situated to influence the nerve growth factor-driven referred hyperalgesia associated with inflammation of the urinary bladder. These data implicate cannabinoids as a novel treatment for vesical pain.

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