Inhibition of soluble epoxide hydrolase reduces LPS-induced thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia in a rat model of inflammatory pain

Life Sci. 2006 Nov 10;79(24):2311-9. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2006.07.031. Epub 2006 Aug 2.


Soluble epoxide hydrolases catalyze the hydrolysis of epoxides in acyclic systems. In man this enzyme is the product of a single copy gene (EPXH-2) present on chromosome 8. The human sEH is of interest due to emerging roles of its endogenous substrates, epoxygenated fatty acids, in inflammation and hypertension. One of the consequences of inhibiting sEH in rodent inflammation models is a profound decrease in the production of pro-inflammatory and proalgesic lipid metabolites including prostaglandins. This prompted us to hypothesize that sEH inhibitors may have antinociceptive properties. Here we tested if sEH inhibitors can reduce inflammatory pain. Hyperalgesia was induced by intraplantar LPS injection and sEH inhibitors were delivered topically. We found that two structurally dissimilar but equally potent sEH inhibitors can be delivered through the transdermal route and that sEH inhibitors effectively attenuate thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia in rats treated with LPS. In addition we show that epoxydized arachidonic acid metabolites, EETs, are also effective in attenuating thermal hyperalgesia in this model. In parallel with the observed biological activity metabolic analysis of oxylipids showed that inhibition of sEH resulted with a decrease in PGD2 levels and sEH generated degradation products of linoleic and arachidonic acid metabolites with a concomitant increase in epoxides of linoleic acid. These data show that inhibition of sEH may become a viable therapeutic strategy to attain analgesia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Epoxide Hydrolases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Epoxide Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Hot Temperature / adverse effects
  • Hyperalgesia / physiopathology
  • Hyperalgesia / prevention & control*
  • Inflammation / chemically induced
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / enzymology*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Pain Threshold / drug effects
  • Pain Threshold / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Analgesics
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Epoxide Hydrolases