Potentiation of endocannabinoids and other lipid amides prevents hyperalgesia and inflammation in a pre-clinical model of migraine

J Headache Pain. 2022 Jul 7;23(1):79. doi: 10.1186/s10194-022-01449-1.


Targeting fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) is a promising therapeutic strategy to combat certain forms of pain, including migraine headache. FAAH inhibitors, such as the O-biphenyl-3-yl carbamate URB597, have been shown to produce anti-hyperalgesic effects in animal models of migraine. The objective of this study was to investigate the behavioral and biochemical effects of compounds ARN14633 and ARN14280, two URB597 analogs with improved solubility and bioavailability, in a migraine-specific rat model in which trigeminal hyperalgesia is induced by nitroglycerin (NTG) administration. ARN14633 (1 mg/kg, i.p.) and ARN14280 (3 mg/kg, i.p.) were administered to adult male Sprague-Dawley rats 3 hours after NTG injection. One hour after the administration of either compound, rats were subjected to the orofacial formalin test. ARN14633 and ARN14280 attenuated NTG-induced nocifensive behavior and reduced transcription of genes encoding neuronal nitric oxide synthase, pain mediators peptides (calcitonin gene-related peptide, substance P) and pro-inflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-1beta and 6) in the trigeminal ganglion, cervical spinal cord and medulla. Finally, both compounds strongly elevated levels of endocannabinoids and/or other FAAH substrates in cervical spinal cord and medulla, and, to a lesser extent, in the trigeminal ganglia. The results indicate that the novel global FAAH inhibitors ARN14633 and ARN14280 elicit significant anti-hyperalgesic effects in a migraine-specific animal model and inhibit the associated peptidergic-inflammatory response. Although the precise mechanism underlying these effects remains to be elucidated, our results support further investigational studies of FAAH blockade as a potential therapeutic strategy to treat migraine conditions.

Keywords: FAAH inhibitors; Lipid-derived mediators; NTG; Trigeminal hyperalgesia.

MeSH terms

  • Amides / adverse effects
  • Amidohydrolases / genetics
  • Amidohydrolases / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Endocannabinoids*
  • Hyperalgesia / chemically induced
  • Hyperalgesia / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Migraine Disorders* / chemically induced
  • Migraine Disorders* / drug therapy
  • Nitroglycerin / pharmacology
  • Pain
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Amides
  • Endocannabinoids
  • Amidohydrolases
  • Nitroglycerin