The endogenous cannabinoid (endocannabinoid) anandamide is principally degraded by the integral membrane enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). Pharmacological blockade of FAAH has emerged as a potentially attractive strategy to augment endocannabinoid signaling and retain the beneficial effects of cannabinoid receptor activation, while avoiding the undesirable side effects, such as weight gain and impairments in cognition and motor control, observed with direct cannabinoid receptor 1 agonists. Here, we report the detailed mechanistic and pharmacological characterization of PF-04457845, a highly efficacious and selective FAAH inhibitor. Mechanistic studies confirm that PF-04457845 is a time-dependent, covalent FAAH inhibitor that carbamylates FAAH's catalytic serine nucleophile. PF-04457845 inhibits human FAAH with high potency (kinact/Ki = 40300 M-1s-1; IC50 = 7.2 nM) and is exquisitely selective in vivo as determined by activity-based protein profiling. Oral administration of PF-04457845 produced potent antinociceptive effects in both inflammatory (complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA)) and noninflammatory (monosodium iodoacetate (MIA)) pain models in rats, with a minimum effective dose of 0.1 mg/kg (CFA model). PF-04457845 displayed a long duration of action as a single oral administration at 1 mg/kg showed in vivo efficacy for 24 hr with a concomitant near complete inhibition of FAAH activity and maximal sustained elevation of anandamide in brain. Significantly, PF-04457845-treated mice at 10 mg/kg elicited no effect in motility, catalepsy, and body temperature. Based on its exceptional selectivity and in vivo efficacy, combined with long duration of action and optimal pharmacokinetic properties, PF-04457845 is a clinical candidate for the treatment of pain and other nervous system disorders.
- Received February 2, 2011.
- Revision received April 13, 2011.
- Accepted April 14, 2011.
- The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics