PEA is a remarkable lipid. In 1973 HANA OBERMAJEROV and colleagues from the Institute of Pharmacology, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, published a paper were they discussed a number of experiments, using mitochondria, stressed by different toxins, were they detected a protective effect of PEA.
They studied the effects of PEA administration on the swelling responses of mitochondria to phosphate and crude staphylococcal toxins. Mitochondria were isolated from the liver of mice and exposed to biochemical stressors with and without protection of PEA.
The optical density (O.D.) ( a measure of swelling of mitochondria; response to biochemical stress) of mitochondria from PEA-treated mice decreased less than that of control mitochondria stressed by a chemical stressor. The swelling induced by crude staphylococcal toxin was also lower in mitochondria of PEA-treated animals. The effect of PEA treatment on both types of swelling was observed even 1 week after the last dose of PEA.
The authors concluded:
Thus the PEA treatment of mice, which resulted in the characteristic changes in mitochondrial fatty acids, markedly decreased the swelling responses of liver mitochondria to orthophosphate and staphylococcal toxin.
Other mitochondia related stress measurements, were the membrane integrity was tested via fluorescence measurements supported the protective effect:
The changes of relative fluorescence in mitochondria from control and PEA-treated animals after preincubation with staphylococcal toxin support the idea of increased resistance to this toxin by mitochondrial membranes from mice fed palmitoylethanolamide.
Source: Biochemical Pharmacology, Vol. 22. pp. 2529-2536. (1973)