ABSTRACT: Inspired by previously discovered enhanced analgesic efficacy between soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) and phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitors, we designed, synthesized and characterized 21 novel sEH/PDE4 dual inhibitors. The best of these displayed good efficacy in in vitro assays. Further pharmacokinetic studies of a subset of four selected compounds led to the identification of a bioavailable dual inhibitor N-(4-methoxy-2-(trifluoromethyl)benzyl)-1-propionylpiperidine-4-carboxamide (MPPA). In a lipopolysaccharide induced inflammatory pain rat model, MPPA rapidly increased in the blood ( Tmax = 30 min; Cmax = 460 nM) after oral administration of 3 mg/kg and reduced inflammatory pain with rapid onset of action correlating with blood levels over a time course of 4 h. Additionally, MPPA does not alter self-motivated exploration of rats with inflammatory pain or the withdrawal latency in control rats.
Project description:Pain is a major health concern even though numerous analgesic agents are available. Side effects and lack of wide-spectrum efficacy of current drugs justify efforts to better understand pain mechanisms. Stabilization of natural epoxy-fatty acids (EFAs) through inhibition of the soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) reduces pain. However, in the absence of an underlying painful state, inhibition of sEH is ineffective. Surprisingly, a pain-mediating second messenger, cAMP, interacts with natural EFAs and regulates the analgesic activity of sEH inhibitors. Concurrent inhibition of sEH and phosphodiesterase (PDE) dramatically reduced acute pain in rodents. Our findings demonstrate a mechanism of action of cAMP and EFAs in the pathophysiology of pain. Furthermore, we demonstrate that inhibition of various PDE isozymes, including PDE4, lead to significant increases in EFA levels through a mechanism independent of sEH, suggesting that the efficacy of commercial PDE inhibitors could result in part from increasing EFAs. The cross-talk between the two major pathways-one mediated by cAMP and the other by EFAs-paves the way to new approaches to understand and control pain.
Project description:A series of dual inhibitors containing a 1,5-diarylpyrazole and a urea were designed, synthesized, and evaluated as novel COX-2/sEH dual inhibitors in vitro using recombinant enzyme assays and in vivo using a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced model of pain in rats. The best inhibition potencies and selectivity for sEH and COX-2 over COX-1 were obtained with compounds (21b, 21i, and 21j) in which both the 1,5-diaryl-pyrazole group and the urea group are linked with a three-methylene group. Compound 21i showed the best pharmacokinetic profiles in both mice and rats (higher AUC and longer half-life). Following subcutaneous administration at 10 mg/kg, compound 21i exhibited antiallodynic activity that is more effective than the same dose of either a COX-2 inhibitor (celecoxib) or a sEH inhibitor (t-AUCB) alone, as well as coadministration of both inhibitors. Thus, these novel dual inhibitors exhibited enhanced in vivo antiallodynic activity in a nociceptive behavioral assay.
Project description:Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) is responsible for regulating concentrations of the endocannabinoid arachidonoyl ethanolamide. Multiple FAAH inhibitors have been developed for clinical trials and have failed to demonstrate efficacy at treating pain, despite promising preclinical data. One approach toward increasing the efficacy of FAAH inhibitors is to concurrently inhibit other targets responsible for regulating pain. Here, we designed dual inhibitors targeting the enzymes FAAH and soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH), which are targets previously shown to synergize at reducing inflammatory and neuropathic pain. Exploration of the sEH/FAAH inhibitor structure-activity relationship started with PF-750, a FAAH inhibitor (IC50 = 19 nM) that weakly inhibited sEH (IC50 = 640 nM). Potency was optimized resulting in an inhibitor with improved potency on both targets (11, sEH IC50 = 5 nM, FAAH IC50 = 8 nM). This inhibitor demonstrated good target selectivity, pharmacokinetic properties (AUC = 1200 h nM, t 1/2 = 4.9 h in mice), and in vivo target engagement.
Project description:Multi-target inhibitors have become increasing popular as a means to leverage the advantages of poly-pharmacology while simplifying drug delivery. Here, we describe dual inhibitors for soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), two targets known to synergize when treating inflammatory and neuropathic pain. The structure activity relationship (SAR) study described herein initially started with t-TUCB (trans-4-[4-(3-trifluoromethoxyphenyl-l-ureido)-cyclohexyloxy]-benzoic acid), a potent sEH inhibitor that was previously shown to weakly inhibit FAAH. Inhibitors with a 6-fold increase of FAAH potency while maintaining high sEH potency were developed by optimization. Interestingly, compared to most FAAH inhibitors that inhibit through time-dependent covalent modification, t-TUCB and related compounds appear to inhibit FAAH through a time-independent, competitive mechanism. These inhibitors are selective for FAAH over other serine hydrolases. In addition, FAAH inhibition by t-TUCB appears to be higher in human FAAH over other species; however, the new dual sEH/FAAH inhibitors have improved cross-species potency. These dual inhibitors may be useful for future studies in understanding the therapeutic application of dual sEH/FAAH inhibition.
Project description:Epoxy-fatty acids have been recognized as important cell signaling molecules with multiple biological effects including anti-nociception. The main degradation pathway of these signaling molecules is via the soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) enzyme. Inhibitors of sEH extend the anti-nociceptive effects of fatty acid epoxides. In this study two models of pain with different etiology, streptozocin induced type I diabetic neuropathic pain and lipopolysaccharide induced inflammatory pain were employed to test sEH inhibitors. A dose range of three sEH inhibitors with the same central pharmacophore but varying substituent moieties was used to investigate maximal anti-allodynic effects in these two models of pain. Inhibiting the sEH enzyme in these models successfully blocked pain related behavior in both models. The sEH inhibitors were more potent and more efficacious than celecoxib in reducing both diabetic neuropathic pain and lipopolysaccharide induced inflammatory pain. Because of their ability to block diabetic neuropathic pain sEH inhibition is a promising new approach to treat chronic pain conditions.
Project description:Epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) are potent endogenous analgesic metabolites produced from arachidonic acid by cytochrome P450s (P450s). Metabolism of EETs by soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) reduces their activity, while their stabilization by sEH inhibition decreases both inflammatory and neuropathic pain. Here, we tested the complementary hypothesis that increasing the level of EETs through induction of P450s by omeprazole (OME), can influence pain related signaling by itself, and potentiate the anti-hyperalgesic effect of sEH inhibitor. Rats were treated with OME (100mg/kg/day, p.o., 7 days), sEH inhibitor TPPU (3mg/kg/day, p.o.) and OME (100mg/kg/day, p.o., 7 days)+TPPU (3mg/kg/day, p.o., last 3 days of OME dose) dissolved in vehicle PEG400, and their effect on hyperalgesia (increased sensitivity to pain) induced by PGE2 was monitored. While OME treatment by itself exhibited variable effects on PGE2 induced hyperalgesia, it strongly potentiated the effect of TPPU in the same assay. The significant decrease in pain with OME+TPPU treatment correlated with the increased levels of EETs in plasma and increased activities of P450 1A1 and P450 1A2 in liver microsomes. The results show that reducing catabolism of EETs with a sEH inhibitor yielded a stronger analgesic effect than increasing generation of EETs by OME, and combination of both yielded the strongest pain reducing effect under the condition of this study.
Project description:Diabetes is affecting the life of millions of people. A large proportion of diabetic patients suffer from severe complications such as neuropathic pain, and current treatments for these complications have deleterious side effects. Thus, alternate therapeutic strategies are needed. Recently, the elevation of epoxy-fatty acids through inhibition of soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) was shown to reduce diabetic neuropathic pain in rodents. In this report, we describe a series of newly synthesized sEH inhibitors with at least 5-fold higher potency and doubled residence time inside both the human and rodent sEH enzyme than previously reported inhibitors. These inhibitors also have better physical properties and optimized pharmacokinetic profiles. The optimized inhibitor selected from this new series displayed improved efficacy of almost 10-fold in relieving pain perception in diabetic neuropathic rats as compared to the approved drug, gabapentin, and previously published sEH inhibitors. Therefore, these new sEH inhibitors could be an attractive alternative to treat diabetic neuropathy in humans.
Project description:Neuropathic pain is currently an insufficiently treated clinical condition. There remains a critical need for efficacious therapies without severe side effects to treat the uniquely persistent and tonic pain of neuropathy. Inhibitors of the soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) enzyme that stabilize endogenous epoxy fatty acids have demonstrated antihyperalgesia in clinical chronic inflammatory pain and modeled neuropathic pain. Recently, the conditioned place preference assay has been used to evaluate the tonic nature of neuropathy in several animal models. The current experiments use the conditioned place preference assay alongside withdrawal thresholds to investigate the antihyperalgesic efficacy of sEH inhibitors in a murine model of diabetic neuropathy. Here, the sEH inhibitor trans-4-[4-(3-trifluoromethoxyphenyl-1-ureido)-cyclohexyloxy]-benzoic acid (t-TUCB) at 10 mg/kg induced a robust place preference in diabetic neuropathic mice representative of pain relief. Importantly, this effect was absent both in control mice and in sEH-knockout mice at the same dose, indicating that t-TUCB is not positively reinforcing or rewarding. When compared to gabapentin, t-TUCB elicited a similar degree of withdrawal threshold improvement without the same degree of spontaneous locomotion decline in neuropathic mice. Overall, these experiments show that inhibiting the sEH enzyme attenuates chronic pain and offers an alternative to current side-effect-limited therapies to meet this clinical need.These experiments demonstrate antihyperalgesia in a murine chronic pain model mediated by inhibiting the sEH enzyme. The results of this study indicate that inhibiting the sEH is a promising alternative for blocking chronic pain.
Project description:Mammalian soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) converts epoxides to their corresponding diols through the addition of a water molecule. sEH readily hydrolyzes lipid signaling molecules, including the epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs), epoxidized lipids produced from arachidonic acid by the action of cytochrome p450s. Through its metabolism of the EETs and other lipid mediators, sEH contributes to the regulation of vascular tone, nociception, angiogenesis and the inflammatory response. Because of its central physiological role in disease states such as cardiac hypertrophy, diabetes, hypertension, and pain sEH is being investigated as a therapeutic target. This review begins with a brief introduction to sEH protein structure and function. sEH evolution and gene structure are then discussed before human small nucleotide polymorphisms and mammalian gene expression are described in the context of several disease models. The review ends with an overview of studies that have employed the sEH knockout mouse model.
Project description:Leukotrienes (LTs) are pro-inflammatory lipid mediators derived from arachidonic acid (AA) with roles in inflammatory and allergic diseases. The biosynthesis of LTs is initiated by transfer of AA via the 5-lipoxygenase-activating protein (FLAP) to 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO). FLAP inhibition abolishes LT formation exerting anti-inflammatory effects. The soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) converts AA-derived anti-inflammatory epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) to dihydroxyeicosatetraenoic acids (di-HETEs). Its inhibition consequently also counteracts inflammation. Targeting both LT biosynthesis and the conversion of EETs with a dual inhibitor of FLAP and sEH may represent a novel, powerful anti-inflammatory strategy. We present a pharmacophore-based virtual screening campaign that led to 20 hit compounds of which 4 targeted FLAP and 4 were sEH inhibitors. Among them, the first dual inhibitor for sEH and FLAP was identified, N-[4-(benzothiazol-2-ylmethoxy)-2-methylphenyl]-N'-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)urea with IC50 values of 200?nM in a cell-based FLAP test system and 20?nM for sEH activity in a cell-free assay.