Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Pharmacology & Toxicology

First Advisor

Aron Lichtman


Inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) or monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), the chief degradative enzymes of N-arachidonoyl ethanolamine (anandamide; AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), respectively, elicits no or partial substitution for Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in drug discrimination procedures. However, combined inhibition of both enzymes fully substitutes for THC, as well as produces a full constellation of cannabimimetic effects. Because no published report to date have investigated whether an inhibitor of endocannabinoid hydrolysis will serve as a discriminative stimulus, the purpose of this doctoral dissertation was to investigate whether C57BL/6J mice would learn to discriminate SA-57 (4-[2-(4-Chlorophenyl)ethyl]-1-piperidinecarboxylic acid 2-(methylamino)-2-oxoethyl ester), a dual inhibitor of FAAH and MAGL, from vehicle in the drug discrimination paradigm. Also, we sought to determine whether inhibiting both enzymes, or inhibiting one enzyme was necessary to generate the SA-57 discriminative stimulus. Initial experiments showed that SA-57 fully substituted for either CP 55,940 ((-)-cis-3-[2-Hydroxy-4-(1,1-dimethylheptyl)phenyl]-trans-4-(3-hydroxypropyl)cyclohexanol), a high efficacy CB1 receptor agonist in C57BL/6J, mice or AEA in FAAH (-/-) mice. The majority (i.e., 23 of 24) of subjects achieved criteria of discriminating SA-57 (10 mg/kg) from vehicle within 40 sessions, with full generalization occurring 1-2 h post injection. CP 55,940, the dual FAAH-MAGL inhibitor JZL195 (4-nitrophenyl 4-(3-phenoxybenzyl)piperazine-1-carboxylate), the MAGL inhibitors MJN110 (2,5-dioxopyrrolidin-1-yl 4-(bis(4-chlorophenyl)methyl)piperazine-1-carboxylate) and JZL184 (4-[Bis(1,3-benzodioxol-5-yl)hydroxymethyl]-1-piperidinecarboxylic acid 4-nitrophenyl ester) fully substituted for SA-57. Although, the FAAH inhibitors PF-3845 and URB597 did not substitute for SA-57, PF3845 produced a two-fold leftward shift in the MJN110 substitution dose-response curve. In addition, the CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant blocked the generalization of SA-57 as well as substitution of CP 55,940, JZL195, MJN110, JZL184 for the SA-57 discriminative stimulus. These findings taken together indicate that the inhibition of endocannabinoid-regulating enzymes serve as breaks to prevent overstimulation of CB1 receptors, and MAGL inhibition is the major driving force for generating the SA-57 discriminative stimulus.


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