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Control of pain initiation by endogenous cannabinoids 

Control of pain initiation by endogenous cannabinoids
Control of pain initiation by endogenous cannabinoids

Andrea G. Hohmann

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date: 27 October 2021

The landmark paper discussed in this chapter, published by Calignano et al. in 1998, focuses on the control of pain initiation by endogenous cannabinoids. In the paper, analgesic lipid mediators are shown to be present in peripheral paw tissue where they control the ability of pain signals to ascend to the central nervous system (CNS). Anandamide acts through a peripheral mechanism to suppress inflammatory pain via cannabinoid type 1 receptors. Palmitoylethanolamine, subsequently identified as an endogenous ligand for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α‎, produces peripheral antinociceptive effects via a mechanism similar to that for the cannabinoid type 2 receptor. These lipids do not serve redundant functions and, in combination, produce synergistic antinociceptive effects. These observations suggested that drug-development efforts targeting peripheral control of pain may elucidate improved pharmacotherapies that lack the unwanted CNS side effects of current treatments.

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