A human fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) functional gene variant is associated with lower blood pressure in young males

Riccardo Sarzani, Marica Bordicchia, Fabio Salvi, Giovanna Cola, Eliana Franchi, Ilaria Battistoni, Lucia Mancinelli, Andrea Giovagnoli, Paolo Dessì-Fulgheri, Alessandro Rappelli

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Background: Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitors, preventing endocannabinoid (EC) degradation, reduce blood pressure (BP) and heart rate in young male (YM) hypertensive rodents. The functional human FAAH 129T gene variant results in reduced protein level and enzymatic activity but its relationship with BP is unknown. This study investigates the relationship among FAAH P129T alleles and cardiovascular features in YMs at baseline and after 9-year follow-up, and in older male obese hypertensive (OH) patients, in whom the EC system (ECS) is overactive. Methods: Genotype analysis was performed in 215 Caucasian male students (24 (0.2) years old) and in 185 older OH patients (50 (0.2) years old). YMs were also followed up for 9 years. Clinical and anthropometric variables, BP, cardiac and carotid artery echographic measurements were evaluated. Results: YMs with the FAAH 129T allele had lower systolic (P = 0.042) and mean BP (P = 0.022), and a trend toward lower diastolic BP (P = 0.06). Such significant association was maintained at follow-up. In contrast, the same allele was not associated with BP in older OH. No association was found with other cardiac and vascular variables. Conclusion: An FAAH defective gene variant results in lower BP in YMs, similar to the findings in young rodents. This effect is lost in older OH patients. Because cannabinoid CB1 receptor blockade is associated with BP reduction in OH patients, EC effects and the use of ECS-interfering drugs is likely to be age and clinical-condition dependent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)960-963
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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