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Endocannabinoid metabolism: the impact of inflammatory factors and pharmacological inhibitors
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Pharmacology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8572-5841
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Endokannabinoid metabolism : påverkan av inflammatoriska faktorer och farmakologiska inhibitorer (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

The endocannabinoid (eCB) system is an endogenous signaling system consisting of ligands (referred to as endocannabinoids, eCBs), receptors and metabolic enzymes. The eCB system is involved in homeostatic control of a variety of biological functions such as neuronal signaling, mood, appetite and pathological conditions such as pain, inflammation and tumour progression. The main eCBs N- arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA, anandamide) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) are synthesised upon stimuli when and where their action is demanded. The signaling is brief and the eCBs are quickly degraded. The enzyme primarily responsible for eCB degradation is fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) for AEA and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) for 2-AG. In addition, both substances are substrates for cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). COX-2 is upregulated in inflammation, pain and in several tumours including prostate cancers, but it is not known whether COX-2 contribute significantly to eCB metabolism under these conditions.

Increasing endogenous levels of eCBs by inhibiting their degradation is exploited as a future therapy for pain conditions. One suggested therapeutic strategy is dual inhibition of enzymes FAAH and COX-2 to raise AEA levels. Paper I and II of this thesis investigates FAAH and COX inhibitory effects of: the major metabolites and enantiomers of derivatives (flu-AM1 and ibu-AM5) of the current clinically used NSAIDs ibuprofen and flurbiprofen. The metabolites 3 ́hydroxyibuprofen and 4 ́hydroxyflurbiprofen retained the FAAH and COX- inhibitory effects seen by the parent compounds although at lower potencies. Both enantiomers of flu-AM1 were equally potent as FAAH inhibitors and displayed a useful substrate selective COX-2 inhibition profile, favoring eCBs as substrates rather than arachidonic acid.

Paper III explores the impact of COX-2 and the effect of (R)-flu-AM1 upon AEA levels and degradation in mouse leukemic macrophage RAW264.7 cells. Despite the high inhibitory potency in enzyme assays, neither (R)-flu-AM1 nor the combination of a FAAH inhibitor with flurbiprofen increased AEA levels in the intact cells to any great extent. This suggests that the eCB turnover in these cells is rather slow. Further, in paper IV, induction of COX-2 did not unmask an ability of this enzyme to “gate” the uptake of AEA analogous to that seen with FAAH.

Paper IV and V focus upon the role of the eCB system in prostate cancer. The eCB system is altered in cancer and is linked to the progression and prognosis of prostate cancer. How and whereby this change occurs is unknown. This thesis explores the impact of the inflammatory factors TNFα, IL-6 and lactic acid induced low pH upon the mRNA levels of eCB related enzymes and the functional impact upon AEA degradation in human DU145 and rat AT-1 prostate cancer cells. TNFα treatment of DU145 and IL-6 and lactic acid induced low pH exposure of AT-1 changed the mRNA levels of 2-AG related enzymes leaving AEA rather unaffected other than for a substantial induction of COX-2 mRNA in DU145 cells. Thus, AEA homeostasis was not shifted in prostate cancer cell lines exposed to inflammatory factors. The results suggest that COX-2 does not gate the uptake of AEA and is a minor contributor to AEA degradation in intact cells. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2018. , p. 82
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1958
Keywords [en]
endocannabinoid, anandamide, 2-AG, fatty acid amide hydrolase, cyclooxygenase-2, prostate cancer, catabolism, inflammation, inflammatory factors
National Category
Pharmacology and Toxicology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-147503ISBN: 978-91-7601-870-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-147503DiVA, id: diva2:1203722
Public defence
2018-06-01, Major Groove, NUS byggnad 6L, Umeå, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-05-09 Created: 2018-05-04 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Inhibition of Endocannabinoid Metabolism by the Metabolites of Ibuprofen and Flurbiprofen
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Inhibition of Endocannabinoid Metabolism by the Metabolites of Ibuprofen and Flurbiprofen
2014 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 9, no 7, p. e103589-Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: In addition to their effects upon prostaglandin synthesis, the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ibuprofen and flurbiprofen inhibit the metabolism of the endocannabinoids 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide (AEA) by cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), respectively. Here, we investigated whether these effects upon endocannabinoid metabolism are shared by the main metabolites of ibuprofen and flurbiprofen. Methodology/Principal Findings:COX activities were measured via changes in oxygen consumption due to oxygenation of arachidonic acid (for COX-1) and arachidonic acid and 2-AG (for COX-2). FAAH activity was quantified by measuring hydrolysis of tritium labelled AEA in rat brain homogenates. The ability of ibuprofen and flurbiprofen to inhibit COX-2-catalysed oxygenation of 2-AG at lower concentrations than the oxygenation of arachidonic acid was seen with 4'-hydroxyflurbiprofen and possibly also 3'-hydroxyibuprofen, albeit at lower potencies than the parent compounds. All ibuprofen and flurbiprofen metabolites retained the ability to inhibit FAAH in a pH-dependent manner, although the potency was lower than seen with the parent compounds. Conclusions/Significance: It is concluded that the primary metabolites of ibuprofen and flurbiprofen retain some of the properties of the parent compound with respect to inhibition of endocannabinoid metabolism. However, these effects are unlikely to contribute to the actions of the parent compounds in vivo.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
PLOS, 2014
National Category
Pharmacology and Toxicology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-92945 (URN)10.1371/journal.pone.0103589 (DOI)000339992600087 ()
Available from: 2014-09-16 Created: 2014-09-09 Last updated: 2018-06-07Bibliographically approved
2. Interaction of the N-(3-Methylpyridin-2-yl) amide Derivatives of Flurbiprofen and Ibuprofen with FAAH: Enantiomeric Selectivity and Binding Mode
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Interaction of the N-(3-Methylpyridin-2-yl) amide Derivatives of Flurbiprofen and Ibuprofen with FAAH: Enantiomeric Selectivity and Binding Mode
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2015 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 10, no 11, article id e0142711Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background Combined fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibition is a promising approach for pain-relief. The Flu-AM1 and Ibu-AM5 derivatives of flurbiprofen and ibuprofen retain similar COX-inhibitory properties and are more potent inhibitors of FAAH than the parent compounds. However, little is known as to the nature of their interaction with FAAH, or to the importance of their chirality. This has been explored here. Methodology/Principal Findings FAAH inhibitory activity was measured in rat brain homogenates and in lysates expressing either wild-type or FAAH(T488A)-mutated enzyme. Molecular modelling was undertaken using both docking and molecular dynamics. The (R)-and (S)-enantiomers of Flu-AM1 inhibited rat FAAH with similar potencies (IC50 values of 0.74 and 0.99 mu M, respectively), whereas the (S)-enantiomer of Ibu-AM5 (IC50 0.59 mu M) was more potent than the (R)-enantiomer (IC50 5.7 mu M). Multiple inhibition experiments indicated that both (R)-Flu-AM1 and (S)-Ibu-AM5 inhibited FAAH in a manner mutually exclusive to carprofen. Computational studies indicated that the binding site for the Flu-AM1 and Ibu-AM5 enantiomers was located between the acyl chain binding channel and the membrane access channel, in a site overlapping the carprofen binding site, and showed a binding mode in line with that proposed for carprofen and other non-covalent ligands. The potency of (R)-Flu-AM1 was lower towards lysates expressing FAAH mutated at the proposed carprofen binding area than in lysates expressing wild-type FAAH. Conclusions/Significance The study provides kinetic and structural evidence that the enantiomers of Flu-AM1 and Ibu-AM5 bind in the substrate channel of FAAH. This information will be useful in aiding the design of novel dual-action FAAH: COX inhibitors.

National Category
Medicinal Chemistry Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-114918 (URN)10.1371/journal.pone.0142711 (DOI)000367628500049 ()
Available from: 2016-03-04 Created: 2016-01-29 Last updated: 2018-06-07Bibliographically approved
3. Characterisation of (R)-2-(2-Fluorobiphenyl-4-yl)-N-(3-Methylpyridin-2-yl)Propanamide as a Dual Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase: Cyclooxygenase Inhibitor
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Characterisation of (R)-2-(2-Fluorobiphenyl-4-yl)-N-(3-Methylpyridin-2-yl)Propanamide as a Dual Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase: Cyclooxygenase Inhibitor
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2015 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 10, no 9, article id e0139212Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background Increased endocannabinoid tonus by dual-action fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and substrate selective cyclooxygenase (COX-2) inhibitors is a promising approach for pain-relief. One such compound with this profile is 2-(2-fluorobiphenyl-4-yl)-N-(3-methylpyridin-2-yl)propanamide (Flu-AM1). These activities are shown by Flu-AM1 racemate, but it is not known whether its two single enantiomers behave differently, as is the case towards COX-2 for the parent flurbiprofen enantiomers. Further, the effects of the compound upon COX-2-derived lipids in intact cells are not known. Methodology/Principal Findings COX inhibition was determined using an oxygraphic method with arachidonic acid and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) as substrates. FAAH was assayed in mouse brain homogenates using anandamide (AEA) as substrate. Lipidomic analysis was conducted in unstimulated and lipopolysaccharide + interferon gamma-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophage cells. Both enantiomers inhibited COX-2 in a substrate-selective and time-dependent manner, with IC50 values in the absence of a preincubation phase of: (R)-Flu-AM1, COX-1 (arachidonic acid) 6 mu M; COX-2 (arachidonic acid) 20 mu M; COX-2 (2-AG) 1 mu M; (S)-Flu-AM1, COX-1 (arachidonic acid) 3 mu M; COX-2 (arachidonic acid) 10 mu M; COX-2 (2-AG) 0.7 mu M. The compounds showed no enantiomeric selectivity in their FAAH inhibitory properties. (R)-Flu-AM1 (10 mu M) greatly inhibited the production of prostaglandin D2 and E2 in both unstimulated and lipopolysaccharide + interferon.-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophage cells. Levels of 2-AG were not affected either by (R)-Flu-AM1 or by 10 mu M flurbiprofen, either alone or in combination with the FAAH inhibitor URB597 (1 mu M). Conclusions/Significance Both enantiomers of Flu-AM1 are more potent inhibitors of 2-AG compared to arachidonic acid oxygenation by COX-2. Inhibition of COX in lipopolysaccharide + interferon.-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells is insufficient to affect 2-AG levels despite the large induction of COX-2 produced by this treatment.

National Category
Pharmacology and Toxicology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-110569 (URN)10.1371/journal.pone.0139212 (DOI)000361800700192 ()26406890 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2015-11-06 Created: 2015-10-23 Last updated: 2018-06-07Bibliographically approved
4. Effects of tumour necrosis factor alpha upon the metabolism of the endocannabinoid anandamide in prostate cancer cells
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of tumour necrosis factor alpha upon the metabolism of the endocannabinoid anandamide in prostate cancer cells
2017 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 12, no 9, article id e0185011Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Tumour necrosis factor a (TNF alpha) is involved in the pathogenesis of prostate cancer, a disease where disturbances in the endocannabinoid system are seen. In the present study we have investigated whether treatment of DU145 human prostate cancer cells affects anandamide (AEA) catabolic pathways. Additionally, we have investigated whether cyclooxygenase- 2 (COX-2) can regulate the uptake of AEA into cells. Levels of AEA synthetic and catabolic enzymes were determined by qPCR. AEA uptake and hydrolysis in DU145 and RAW264.7 macrophage cells were assayed using AEA labeled in the arachidonic and ethanolamine portions of the molecule, respectively. Levels of AEA, related N-acylethanolamines (NAEs), prostaglandins (PG) and PG-ethanolamines (PG-EA) in DU145 cells and medium were quantitated by ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) analysis. TNF alpha treatment of DU145 cells increased mRNA levels of PTSG2 (gene of COX-2) and decreased the mRNA of the AEA synthetic enzyme N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine selective phospholipase D. mRNA levels of the AEA hydrolytic enzymes fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and N-acylethanolamine-hydrolyzing acid amidase were not changed. AEA uptake in both DU145 and RAW264.7 cells was inhibited by FAAH inhibition, but not by COX-2 inhibition, even in RAW264.7 cells where the expression of this enzyme had greatly been induced by lipopolysaccharide + interferon. treatment. AEA and related NAEs were detected in DU145 cells, but PGs and PGE(2)-EA were only detected when the cells had been preincubated with 100 nM AEA. The data demonstrate that in DU145 cells, TNFa treatment changes the relative expression of the enzymes involved in the hydrolytic and oxygenation catabolic pathways for AEA. In RAW264.7 cells, COX-2, in contrast to FAAH, does not regulate the cellular accumulation of AEA. Further studies are necessary to determine the extent to which inflammatory mediators are involved in the abnormal endocannabinoid signalling system in prostate cancer.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2017
National Category
Pharmacology and Toxicology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-140467 (URN)10.1371/journal.pone.0185011 (DOI)000410859200126 ()28910408 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2017-10-25 Created: 2017-10-25 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved
5. The mRNA expression of endocannabinoid-related enzymes in rat prostate AT-1 cells following exposure to lactate and interleukin-6
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The mRNA expression of endocannabinoid-related enzymes in rat prostate AT-1 cells following exposure to lactate and interleukin-6
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The endocannabinoid system is dysregulated in prostate cancer but the mechanisms responsible for this dysregulation are not known. We hypothesise that the dysregulation is secondary to factors in the tumour microenvironment. In this study we investigated the effects of lactic acid induced low pH and interleukin-6 (IL-6) treatment upon the expression of endocannabinoid related enzymes and the functional effects upon anandamide degradation and cell viability in Dunning R3327 rat prostate AT-1 cancer cells. Cells were exposed for 3 h at 37 °C to Krebs-Ringer-HEPES/bicarbonate buffer at either pH 7.4 or at pH 6.6 (due to the presence of 40 mM lactic acid), and to 0, 25 or 100 ng/ml of IL-6. Neither low pH (pH 6.6) nor IL-6 induced any changes in the mRNA levels of the anandamide metabolic enzymes. However, the expression of the 2- arachidonoylglycerol-synthesizing enzyme DAGLα was increased by low pH and the expression of CB2 receptor mRNA was decreased at the low pH. The DAGL inhibitor orlistat increased extracellular LDH levels after 24 h of incubation of AT-1 cells, suggesting a higher frequency of cell death. It is concluded that under the conditions used, exposure to lactate and IL-6 do not affect the expression of the anandamide metabolic enzymes in AT-1 cells, but do modify the expression of an enzyme involved in the synthesis of 2-arachidonoylglycerol. 

Keywords
Anandamide, 2-arachidonoylglycerol, fatty acid amide hydrolase, interleukin-6, lactic acid, prostate cancer, Dunning R3327 AT-1 cells
National Category
Basic Medicine Pharmacology and Toxicology Cell and Molecular Biology
Research subject
cellforskning; biokemisk farmakologi
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-147501 (URN)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 12158
Note

Forskningsfinansiärer: vetenskapsrådet (12158), Lions cancerforskningsfond (LP16-2129)

Available from: 2018-05-04 Created: 2018-05-04 Last updated: 2018-06-09

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