Status epilepticus (SE) is a life-threatening and commonly drug-refractory condition. Novel therapies are needed to rapidly terminate seizures to prevent mortality and morbidity. Monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) is the key enzyme responsible for the hydrolysis of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and a major contributor to the brain pool of arachidonic acid (AA). Inhibiting of monoacylglycerol lipase modulates synaptic activity and neuroinflammation, 2 mediators of excessive neuronal activation underlying seizures. We studied the effect of a potent and selective irreversible MAGL inhibitor, CPD-4645, on SE that was refractory to diazepam, its neuropathologic sequelae, and the mechanism underlying the drug’s effects.
Diazepam-resistant SE was induced in adult mice fed with standard or ketogenic diet or in cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) receptor knock-out mice. CPD-4645 (10 mg/kg, subcutaneously) or vehicle was dosed 1 and 7 h after status epilepticus onset in video–electroencephalography (EEG) recorded mice. At the end of SE, mice were examined in the novel object recognition test followed by neuronal cellloss analysis.
CPD-4645 maximal plasma and brain concentrations were attained 0.5 h postinjection (half-life = 3.7 h) and elevated brain 2-AG levels by approximately 4-fold. CPD-4645 administered to standard diet–fed mice progressively reduced spike frequency during 3 h postinjection, thereby shortening SE duration by 47%. The drug immediately abrogated SE in ketogenic diet–fed mice. CPD-4645 rescued neuronal cell loss and cognitive deficit and reduced interleukin (IL)-1β and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) brain expression resulting from SE. The CPD-4645 effect on SE was similar in mice lacking CB1 receptors.
MAGL represents a novel therapeutic target for treating status epilepticus and improving its sequelae. CPD-4645 therapeutic effects appear to be predominantly mediated by modulation of neuroinflammation.