The metabolism of anandamide by fatty acid amidohydrolase (FAAH) at different intra- and extracellular pH values has been investigated in intact C6 rat glioma cells. The cellular uptake of anandamide at 37 degrees C was found to decrease by 28% when the extracellular pH (pH(e)) was reduced from pH 7.4 to pH 6.2. In contrast, a selective decrease in intracellular pH (pH(i)), accomplished by acidifying the cells followed by incubation in sodium-free buffer at pH 7.4, did not affect the uptake. Anandamide uptake was inhibited by (R)-ibuprofen, with pI(50) values of 3.05+/-0.57, 3.66+/-0.23 and 3.94+/-0.88 at pH(e) values of 7.4, 6.8 and 6.2, respectively. In the presence of phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride, however, (R)-ibuprofen failed to inhibit the uptake of anandamide. A reduction in pH(e) from 7.4 to 6.2 produced a 17% reduction in the FAAH-catalyzed metabolism of anandamide in the intact C6 cells. However, an increased sensitivity of FAAH activity to inhibition by (R)-ibuprofen as well as (R,S)-flurbiprofen and (S)-flurbiprofen was seen at a lower pH(e). For (R)-ibuprofen, pI(50) values of 3.57+/-0.08, 4.04+/-0.05 and 4.59+/-0.04 were found at pH(e) values of 7.4, 6.8 and 6.2, respectively. For (R,S)- and (S)-flurbiprofen, the pI(50) values at pH(e) 7.4 were 4.02+/-0.05 and 4.13+/-0.18, respectively at a pH(e) of 7.4, and 4.81+/-0.11 and 4.84+/-0.10, respectively, at a pH(e) of 6.2. In contrast, intracellular acidification did not affect either the rate of anandamide metabolism or its inhibition by (R)-ibuprofen or (S)-flurbiprofen. It is concluded that a reduction of extracellular pH produces an enhanced accumulation of the acidic NSAIDs ibuprofen and flurbiprofen into C6 glioma cells and thereby an inhibition of anandamide metabolism.
2003. Vol. 367, no 3, 237-244 p.