Navigation Links
UCI-led team finds new way to boost potency of marijuana-like chemical in body
Date:11/21/2011

Irvine, Calif., Nov. 21, 2011 UC Irvine and Italian researchers have discovered a new means of enhancing the effects of anandamide a natural, marijuana-like chemical in the body that provides pain relief.

Led by Daniele Piomelli, UCI's Louise Turner Arnold Chair in the Neurosciences, the team identified an "escort" protein in brain cells that transports anandamide to sites within the cell where enzymes break it down. They found that blocking this protein called FLAT increases anandamide's potency.

Previous work by the researchers indicates that compounds boosting anandamide's natural abilities could form the basis of pain medications that don't produce sedation, addiction or other central nervous system side effects common with existing painkillers, such as opiates.

"These findings raise hope that the analgesic properties of marijuana can be harnessed for new, safe drugs," said Piomelli, a professor of pharmacology. "Specific drug compounds we are creating that amplify the actions of natural, marijuana-like chemicals are showing great promise."

For the study, which appears in the Nov. 20 online version of Nature Neuroscience, he and his colleagues used computational methods to understand how FLAT binds with anandamide and escorts it to cell sites to be degraded by fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) enzymes.

Anandamide has been dubbed "the bliss molecule" for its similarities to the active ingredient in marijuana. A neurotransmitter that's part of the body's endocannabinoid system, it's been shown in studies by Piomelli and others to play analgesic, antianxiety and antidepressant roles. It's also important in regulating food consumption. Blocking FAAH activity enhances several effects of anandamide without generating the "high" seen with marijuana.

Piomelli and his collaborators speculate that inhibiting FLAT (FAAH-like anandamide transporters) might be particularly useful in controlling certain forms of pain that caused by damage to the central nervous system, for example and curbing addiction to such drugs as nicotine and cocaine.


'/>"/>

Contact: Tom Vasich
tmvasich@uci.edu
949-824-6455
University of California - Irvine
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. UCI-led butterfly study sheds light on convergent evolution
2. Duke team finds compounds that prevent nerve damage
3. Study finds genetic variant plays role in cleft lip
4. In a last stronghold for endangered chimpanzees, survey finds drastic decline
5. Brown scientist finds coastal dead zones may benefit some species
6. Study finds high mortality of endangered loggerhead sea turtles in Baja California
7. Yale journal finds nanomaterials may have large environmental footprint
8. UCSB study finds physical strength, fighting ability revealed in human faces
9. NJIT professor finds engineering technique to identify disease-causing genes
10. Grapes may aid a bunch of heart risk factors, animal study finds
11. NC State finds new nanomaterial could be breakthrough for implantable medical devices
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/26/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... "Global Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their ... , The analysts forecast the global ... of 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  ... of sectors such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... CHICAGO , April 15, 2016  A ... companies make more accurate underwriting decisions in a ... offering timely, competitively priced and high-value life insurance ... health screenings. With Force Diagnostics, rapid ... and lifestyle data readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... , April 14, 2016 ... and Malware Detection, today announced the appointment of ... the new role. Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes ... the heels of the deployment of its platform at ... behavioral biometric technology, which discerns unique cognitive and physiological ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/27/2016)... and READING, England , ... Indegene ( http://www.indegene.com ), ein führender Anbieter ... die Life-Science-Branche, Pharmaunternehmen und Gesundheitsorganisationen, und TranScrip ... von innovativen wissenschaftlichen Support-Services für den gesamten ... IntraScience heute den Ausbau ihrer bestehenden Allianz ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... 26, 2016 Despite the volatility that ... this space. Today,s pre-market research on ActiveWallSt.com directs the investor ... (NASDAQ: RDUS ), Cerus Corp. (NASDAQ: ... and Five Prime Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: FPRX ). ... http://www.activewallst.com/ On Wednesday, shares ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... of a Thai delegation at BIO 2016 in San Francisco. Located at booth ... will be available to answer questions and discuss the Thai biotechnology and life ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... WEDI, the nation’s leading authority on the use of ... Stellar has been named by the WEDI Board of Directors as WEDI’s president and ... leader with more than 35 years of experience in healthcare, association management and organizational ...
Breaking Biology Technology: