The enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) is responsible for the degradation of the lipid anandamide. This is a cannabinoid naturally secreted from both the brain and body. Cannabinoid receptors mediate blood pressure, pain sensation, hunger and anxiety among other actions. Drugs inhibiting FAAH increase cannabinoid receptor activity in a manner distinct from cannabinoid agonists to treat hypertension, relieve pain or have other therapeutic effect with lessened side effects.
Bátkai S, Pacher P, Osei-Hyiaman D, Radaeva S, Liu J, Harvey-White J, Offertáler L, Mackie K, Rudd MA, Bukoski RD, Kunos G. Endocannabinoids acting at cannabinoid-1 receptors regulate cardiovascular function in hypertension. Circulation. 2004 Oct 5;110(14):1996-2002. [PubMed abs]
U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/998,661 filed 12 Dec 2007 (HHS Reference No. E-211-2006/0-US-01)
George Kunos (NIAAA) et al.
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