Thursday, November 17, 2011
Figure 1. Connecting cannabinoid and prostaglandin pathways. A team led by researchers from The Scripps Research Institute and the University of
California, Berkeley have shown that monoacylglycerol lipase
(MAGL), which controls
levels of a pain-reducing metabolite in the brain, also regulates
neuroinflammation. Thus, blocking MAGL could provide a therapeutic benefit in
neurodegenerative disorders characterized by neuroinflammation.
work from Scripps had shown that in mice, a small molecule inhibitor of MAGL [a] increased the levels of
2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in the brain, which acted through the cannabinoid receptors
to decrease pain [b]. The
team has now shown that in a mouse model of neuroinflammation, inhibiting MAGL
lowers the production of arachidonic acid to decrease levels of inflammatory
prostaglandins and blunt inflammation in the brain [c].
mouse model of neurotoxin-induced Parkinson's disease (PD), a MAGL inhibitor
reduced neuroinflammation and dopaminergic neurodegeneration compared with