A novel composite formulation of palmitoylethanolamide and quercetin decreases inflammation and relieves pain in inflammatory and osteoarthritic pain models

Domenico Britti, Rosalia Crupi, Daniela Impellizzeri, Enrico Gugliandolo, Roberta Fusco, Carlo Schievano, Valeria Maria Morittu, Maurizio Evangelista, Rosanna Di Paola, Salvatore Cuzzocrea

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33 Citazioni (Scopus)


Background: Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common progressive joint disease in dogs and cats. The goal of OA treatment is to reduce inflammation, minimize pain, and maintain joint function. Currently, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., meloxicam) are the cornerstone of treatment for OA pain, but side effects with long-term use pose important challenges to veterinary practitioners when dealing with OA pain. Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is a naturally-occurring fatty acid amide, locally produced on demand by tissues in response to stress. PEA endogenous levels change during inflammatory and painful conditions, including OA, i.e., they are typically increased during acute conditions and decreased in chronic inflammation. Systemic treatment with PEA has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects in several disorders, yet data are lacking in OA. Here we tested a new composite, i.e., PEA co-ultramicronized with the natural antioxidant quercetin (PEA-Q), administered orally in two different rat models of inflammatory and OA pain, namely carrageenan paw oedema and sodium monoiodoacetate (MIA)-induced OA. Oral treatment with meloxicam was used as benchmark. Results: PEA-Q decreased inflammatory and hyperalgesic responses induced by carrageenan injection, as shown by: (i) paw oedema reduction, (ii) decreased severity in histological inflammatory score, (iii) reduced activity of myeloperoxidase, i.e., a marker of inflammatory cell infiltration, and (iv) decreased thermal hyperalgesia. Overall PEA-Q showed superior effects compared to meloxicam. In MIA-treated animals, PEA-Q exerted the following effects: (i) reduced mechanical allodynia and improved locomotor function, (ii) protected cartilage against MIA-induced histological damage, and (iii) counteracted the increased serum concentration of tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin 1 beta, metalloproteases 1, 3, 9 and nerve growth factor. The magnitude of these effects was comparable to, or even greater than, those of meloxicam. Conclusion: The present findings shed new light on some of the inflammatory and nociceptive pathways and mediators targeted by PEA-Q and confirm its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects in rodent OA pain models. The translatability of these observations to canine and feline OA pain is currently under investigation.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)229-N/A
Numero di pagine13
RivistaBMC Veterinary Research
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2017


  • Co-ultra micronization
  • Disease models
  • Drug combinations
  • Inflammation
  • N-acylethanolamines
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pain
  • Palmitoylethanolamide
  • Quercetin
  • Veterinary (all)


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