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, 42 (3), 321-7

Anticonvulsant Activity of N-palmitoylethanolamide, a Putative Endocannabinoid, in Mice

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Anticonvulsant Activity of N-palmitoylethanolamide, a Putative Endocannabinoid, in Mice

D M Lambert et al. Epilepsia.

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate in mice the anticonvulsant potential of N-palmitoylethanolamide, a putative endocannabinoid that accumulates in the body during inflammatory processes.

Methods: N-palmitoylethanolamide was injected intraperitoneally (i.p.) in mice and evaluated for anticonvulsant activity [in maximal electroshock seizure (MES) and chemical-induced convulsions] and for neurologic impairment (rotorod). It was compared with anandamide and with different palmitic acid analogues as well as with reference anticonvulsants (AEDs) injected under the same conditions.

Results: The MES test showed, after i.p. administration to mice, that N-palmitoy]ethanolamide had an median effective dose (ED50) value comparable to that of phenytoin (PHT; 8.9 and 9.2 mg/kg, respectively). In the subcutaneous pentylenetetrazol test and in the 3-mercaptropropionic acid test, it was effective only against tonic convulsions. N-palmitoylethanolamide was devoid of neurologic impairment < or = 250 mg/kg, yielding a high protective index.

Conclusions: N-palmitoylethanolamide, an endogenous compound with antiinflammatory and analgesic activities, is a potent AED in mice. Its precise mechanism of action remains to be elucidated.

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