Cannabinoid CB2 Agonist AM1710 Differentially Suppresses Distinct Pathological Pain States and Attenuates Morphine Tolerance and Withdrawal

Mol Pharmacol. 2019 Feb;95(2):155-168. doi: 10.1124/mol.118.113233. Epub 2018 Nov 30.


AM1710 (3-(1,1-dimethyl-heptyl)-1-hydroxy-9-methoxy-benzo(c) chromen-6-one), a cannabilactone cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) agonist, suppresses chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain in rodents without producing tolerance or unwanted side effects associated with CB1 receptors; however, the signaling profile of AM1710 remains incompletely characterized. It is not known whether AM1710 behaves as a broad-spectrum analgesic and/or suppresses the development of opioid tolerance and physical dependence. In vitro, AM1710 inhibited forskolin-stimulated cAMP production and produced enduring activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 phosphorylation in human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells stably expressing mCB2. Only modest species differences in the signaling profile of AM1710 were observed between HEK cells stably expressing mCB2 and hCB2. In vivo, AM1710 produced a sustained inhibition of paclitaxel-induced allodynia in mice. In paclitaxel-treated mice, a history of AM1710 treatment (5 mg/kg per day × 12 day, i.p.) delayed the development of antinociceptive tolerance to morphine and attenuated morphine-induced physical dependence. AM1710 (10 mg/kg, i.p.) did not precipitate CB1 receptor-mediated withdrawal in mice rendered tolerant to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, suggesting that AM1710 is not a functional CB1 antagonist in vivo. Furthermore, AM1710 (1, 3, 10 mg/kg, i.p.) did not suppress established mechanical allodynia induced by complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) or by partial sciatic nerve ligation (PSNL). Similarly, prophylactic and chronic dosing with AM1710 (10 mg/kg, i.p.) did not produce antiallodynic efficacy in the CFA model. By contrast, gabapentin suppressed allodynia in both CFA and PSNL models. Our results indicate that AM1710 is not a broad-spectrum analgesic agent in mice and suggest the need to identify signaling pathways underlying CB2 therapeutic efficacy to identify appropriate indications for clinical translation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Cannabinoids / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Chromones / pharmacology*
  • Dronabinol / pharmacology
  • Drug Tolerance / physiology*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Hyperalgesia
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Morphine / pharmacology*
  • Neuralgia / drug therapy*
  • Neuralgia / metabolism
  • Paclitaxel / pharmacology
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1 / metabolism
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB2 / agonists*
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB2 / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects


  • 3-(1,1-dimethyl-heptyl)-1-hydroxy-9-methoxy-benzo(c)chromen-6-one
  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Cannabinoids
  • Chromones
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB2
  • Morphine
  • Dronabinol
  • Paclitaxel