Neurochemical research

Analgesic effects of β-phenylethylamine and various methylated derivatives in mice.

PMID 24965531


Administration of β-phenylethylamine (PEA), the simplest endogenous neuroamine, and various methylated PEA derivatives including α-methyl PEA (amphetamine, AMP) elicits analgesia in mice. Five or 20 min after intraperitoneal PEA injection of as little as 6 mg/kg resulted in an increased latency response time (from 2.4 ± 0.4 to 8.5 ± 2.3 or 7.0 ± 3.0 s, respectively) to the thermal stimulus (hot-plate test), which reached statistical significance at the 15 mg/kg (20 min; 13.1 ± 0.4 s) or 25 mg/kg dose (5 min; 15.3 ± 4.1 s). This PEA effect, was dose-dependent (albeit non-linear: 6, 12, 15, 25, 50 and 100 mg/kg), reached the cut-off time of 45 s at the upper PEA dose (5 min), and it was consistently enhanced by pretreatment with the monoamine oxidase inhibitor pargyline (P). Methylated PEA derivatives (15 and 100 mg/kg dose) produced various degrees of analgesia (in decreasing order p-Me PEA > PEA > N,N-diMe PEA > N-Me PEA) which, likewise to PEA itself, were consistently increased by P and declined over time (mice tested 5, 20 and 60 min after amine injection); small but statistically significant o- and β-Me PEA antinociceptive effects (5 min) were observed only at the higher dose (in the presence of P for β-Me PEA). A small analgesic effect was observed after the administration of AMP (5 or 10 mg/kg) which failed, even after P, to reach statistically significance. Independent of the amine and concentration tested, individual compound's antinociceptive properties were reliably increased by P (exception of AMP), decreased by reserpine (R) or haloperidol (H), and remained essentially unchanged after naloxone (N) administration suggesting the involvement of catecholamines, but not opioid peptides, in their observed analgesic effects. Injection of P + N produced results similar to those seen after P alone. Under the experimental conditions described neither P, R, H or N had any effects by themselves. These findings suggest additional understanding of the mechanism of action responsible for the analgesic effects of these amines would be of interest, leading further to controlled studies on their alleged usefulness as weight reducing agents and sport performance enhancers.