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N-palmitoyl-ethanolamine: Biochemistry and new therapeutic opportunities

N-palmitoyl-ethanolamine: Biochemistry and new therapeutic opportunities

  1. Anonymous
    Biochimie
    Stefania Petrosino, Teresa Iuvone, Vincenzo Di Marzo

    Although its presence in mammalian tissues has been known since the 1960s, N-palmitoyl-ethanolamine
    (PEA) has emerged only recently among other bioactive N-acylethanolamines as an important local
    pro-homeostatic mediator which, due to its chemical stability, can be also administered exogenously as
    the active principle of current anti-inflammatory and analgesic preparations (e.g. Normast, Pelvilen).
    Much progress has been made towards the understanding of the mechanisms regulating both the tissue
    levels of PEA under physiological and pathological conditions, and its pharmacological actions. Here we
    review these new developments in PEA biochemistry and pharmacology, and discuss novel potential
    indications for the therapeutic use of this compound and of synthetic tools that selectively retard its
    catabolism, such as the inhibitors of the recently cloned N-acylethanolamine-hydrolyzing acid amidase.