Palmitoylethanolamide is an endogenous lipid that exerts complex vascular effects, enhances the effects of endocannabinoids and induces a direct hypotension, but the mechanisms involved have been poorly explored. Hence, this study investigated in Wistar pithed rats the role of CB1, CB2, TRPV1 and GPR55 receptors in the inhibition by palmitoylethanolamide of the vasopressor responses produced by sympathetic stimulation or exogenous noradrenaline. Frequency- and dose-dependent vasopressor responses were analysed before and during intravenous (i.v.) continuous infusions of palmitoylethanolamide in animals receiving i.v. bolus of the antagonists NIDA41020 (CB1), AM630 (CB2), capsazepine (TRPV1), and/or cannabidiol (GPR55). Palmitoyletha-nolamide (0.1-3.1 μg/kg/min) dose-dependently inhibited the sympathetically induced and noradrenaline-induced vasopressor responses. Both inhibitions were: (i) partially blocked by 100 μg/kg NIDA41020, 100 μg/kg capsazepine, or 31 μg/kg cannabidiol; (ii) unaffected by 310 μg/kg AM630; and (iii) abolished by the combination NIDA41020 + capsazepine + cannabidiol (100, 100, and 31 μg/kg, respectively). The resting blood pressure was decreased by palmitoylethanolamide (effect prevented by NIDA41020, capsazepine or cannabidiol, but not by AM630). These results suggest that: (i) palmitoylethanolamide inhibits the vasopressor responses to sympathetic stimulation and exogenous noradrenaline and that it induces hypotension; and (ii) all these effects are mediated by prejunctional and vascular CB1, TRPV1 and probably GPR55, but not by CB2, receptors.
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