[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Perinatal asphyxia (PA) is an obstetric complication that strongly affects the CNS. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a lipid transmitter system involved in several physiological processes including synaptic plasticity, neurogenesis, memory, and mood. Endocannabinoids, and other acylethanolamides (AEs) without endocannabinoid activity, have recently received growing attention due to their potential neuroprotective functions in neurological disorders, including cerebral ischemia. In the present study, we aimed to analyze the changes produced by PA in the major metabolic enzymes and receptors of the ECS/AEs in the hippocampus using a rodent model of PA. To induce PA, we removed uterine horns from ready-to-deliver rats and immersed them into a water bath during 19 min. Animals delivered spontaneously or by cesarean section were employed as controls. At 1 month of age, cognitive functions were assessed and immunohistochemical procedures were carried out to determine the expression of NeuN and glial fibrillary acidic protein, enzymes responsible for synthesis (DAGLα and NAPE-PLD) and degradation (FAAH) of ECS/AEs and their receptors (CB1 and PPARα) in the hippocampus. Postweaned asphyctic rats showed impaired recognition and spatial reference memory that were accompanied by hippocampal astrogliosis and changes in the expression of enzymes and receptors. The most remarkable findings in asphyctic rats were a decrease in the expression of NAPE-PLD and PPARα in both hippocampal areas CA1 and CA3. In addition, postweaned cesarean delivery rats showed an increase in the immunolabeling for FAAH in the hippocampal CA3 area. Since, NAPE-PLD and PPARα are proteins that participate in the biochemical process of AEs, specially the neuroprotective oleoylethanolamide, these results suggest that PA dysregulates this system. These data encourage conducting future studies using AEs as potential neuroprotective compounds in animal models of PA.
Frontiers in Neuroanatomy 11/2015; 9(141). DOI:10.3389/fnana.2015.00141 · 3.54 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The identification of behavioral traits that could predict an individual's susceptibility to engage in cocaine addiction is relevant for understanding and preventing this disorder, but investigations of cocaine addicts rarely allow us to determinate whether their behavioral attributes are a cause or a consequence of drug use. To study the behaviors that predict cocaine vulnerability, male C57BL/6J mice were examined in a battery of tests (the elevated plus maze, hole-board, novelty preference in the Y-Maze, episodic-like object recognition and forced swimming) prior to training in a cocaine-conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm to assess the reinforcing value of the drug. In a second study, the anatomical basis of high and low CPP in the mouse brain was investigated by studying the number of neurons (neuronal nuclei-positive) in two addiction-related limbic regions (the medial prefrontal cortex and the basolateral amygdala) and the number of dopaminergic neurons (tyrosine hydroxylase-positive) in the ventral tegmental area by immunohistochemistry and stereology. Correlational analyses revealed that CPP behavior was successfully predicted by anxiety-like measures in the elevated plus maze (i.e., the more anxious mice showed more preference for the cocaine-paired compartment) but not by the other behaviors analyzed. In addition, increased numbers of neurons were found in the basolateral amygdala of the high CPP mice, a key brain center for anxiety and fear responses. The results support the theory that anxiety is a relevant factor for cocaine vulnerability, and the basolateral amygdala is a potential neurobiological substrate where both anxiety and cocaine vulnerability could overlap.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fatty liver disease is one of the main hepatic complications associated with obesity. To date, there are no effective treatments for this pathology apart from the use of classical fibrates. In this study, we have characterized the in vivo effects of a novel conjugation of oleic acid with an amphetamine derivative (OLHHA) in an animal model of genetic obesity. Lean and obese Zucker rats received a daily intraperitoneal administration of OLHHA (5 mg kg−1) for 15 days. Plasma and liver samples were collected for the biochemical and molecular biological analyses, including both immunohistochemical and histological studies. The expression of key enzymes and proteins that are involved in lipid metabolism and energy homeostasis was evaluated in the liver samples. The potential of OLHHA to produce adverse drug reactions or toxicity was also evaluated through the monitoring of interactions with hERG channel and liver cytochrome. We found that OLHHA is a drug with a safe pharmacological profile. Treatmen
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endocannabinoids participate in the control of neurogenesis, neural cell death and gliosis. The pharmacological effect of the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor URB597, which limits the endocannabinoid degradation, was investigated in the present study. Cell proliferation (phospho-H3+ or BrdU+ cells) of the main adult neurogenic zones as well as apoptosis (cleaved caspase-3+), astroglia (GFAP+), and microglia (Iba1+ cells) were analyzed in the hippocampus, hypothalamus and striatum of rats intraperitoneally treated with URB597 (0.3 mg/kg/day) at one dose/4-days resting or 5 doses (1 dose/day). Repeated URB597 treatment increased the plasma levels of the N-acylethanolamines oleoylethanolamide, palmitoylethanolamide and arachidonoylethanolamine, reduced the plasma levels of glucose, triglycerides and cholesterol, and induced a transitory body weight decrease. The hippocampi of repeated URB597-treated rats showed a reduced number of phospho-H3+ and BrdU+ subgranular cells as well as GFAP+, Iba1+ and cleaved caspase-3+ cells, which was accompanied with decreased hippocampal expression of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor gene Cnr1 and Faah. In the hypothalami of these rats, the number of phospho-H3+, GFAP+ and 3-weeks-old BrdU+ cells was specifically decreased. The reduced striatal expression of CB1 receptor in repeated URB597-treated rats was only associated with a reduced apoptosis. In contrast, the striatum of acute URB597-treated rats showed an increased number of subventricular proliferative, astroglial and apoptotic cells, which was accompanied with increased Faah expression. Main results indicated that FAAH inhibitor URB597 decreased neural proliferation, glia and apoptosis in a brain region-dependent manner, which were coupled to local changes in Faah and/or Cnr1 expression and a negative energy context.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The retrograde suppression of the synaptic transmission by the endocannabinoid sn-2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) is mediated by the cannabinoid CB1 receptors and requires the elevation of intracellular Ca(2+) and the activation of specific 2-AG synthesizing (i.e., DAGLα) enzymes. However, the anatomical organization of the neuronal substrates that express 2-AG/CB1 signaling system-related molecules associated with selective Ca(2+)-binding proteins (CaBPs) is still unknown. For this purpose, we used double-label immunofluorescence and confocal laser scanning microscopy for the characterization of the expression of the 2-AG/CB1 signaling system (CB1 receptor, DAGLα, MAGL, and FAAH) and the CaBPs calbindin D28k, calretinin, and parvalbumin in the rat hippocampus. CB1, DAGLα, and MAGL labeling was mainly localized in fibers and neuropil, which were differentially organized depending on the hippocampal CaBPs-expressing cells. CB(+) 1 fiber terminals localized in all hippocampal principal cell layers were tightly attached to calbindin(+) cells (granular and pyramidal neurons), and calretinin(+) and parvalbumin(+) interneurons. DAGLα neuropil labeling was selectively found surrounding calbindin(+) principal cells in the dentate gyrus and CA1, and in the calretinin(+) and parvalbumin(+) interneurons in the pyramidal cell layers of the CA1/3 fields. MAGL(+) terminals were only observed around CA1 calbindin(+) pyramidal cells, CA1/3 calretinin(+) interneurons and CA3 parvalbumin(+) interneurons localized in the pyramidal cell layers. Interestingly, calbindin(+) pyramidal cells expressed FAAH specifically in the CA1 field. The identification of anatomically related-neuronal substrates that expressed 2-AG/CB1 signaling system and selective CaBPs should be considered when analyzing the cannabinoid signaling associated with hippocampal functions.
Frontiers in Neuroanatomy 06/2014; 8:56. DOI:10.3389/fnana.2014.00056 · 3.54 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The N-acylethanolamines (NAEs), oleoylethanolamide (OEA) and palmithylethanolamide (PEA) are known to be endogenous ligands of PPARα receptors, and their presence requires the activation of a specific phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD) associated with intracellular Ca(2+) fluxes. Thus, the identification of a specific population of NAPE-PLD/PPARα-containing neurons that express selective Ca(2+)-binding proteins (CaBPs) may provide a neuroanatomical basis to better understand the PPARα system in the brain. For this purpose, we used double-label immunofluorescence and confocal laser scanning microscopy for the characterization of the co-existence of NAPE-PLD/PPARα and the CaBPs calbindin D28k, calretinin and parvalbumin in the rat hippocampus. PPARα expression was specifically localized in the cell nucleus and, occasionally, in the cytoplasm of the principal cells (dentate granular and CA pyramidal cells) and some non-principal cells of the hippocampus. PPARα was expressed in the calbindin-containing cells of the granular cell layer of the dentate gyrus (DG) and the SP of CA1. These principal PPARα(+)/calbindin(+) cells were closely surrounded by NAPE-PLD(+) fiber varicosities. No pyramidal PPARα(+)/calbindin(+) cells were detected in CA3. Most cells containing parvalbumin expressed both NAPE-PLD and PPARα in the principal layers of the DG and CA1/3. A small number of cells containing PPARα and calretinin was found along the hippocampus. Scattered NAPE-PLD(+)/calretinin(+) cells were specifically detected in CA3. NAPE-PLD(+) puncta surrounded the calretinin(+) cells localized in the principal cells of the DG and CA1. The identification of the hippocampal subpopulations of NAPE-PLD/PPARα-containing neurons that express selective CaBPs should be considered when analyzing the role of NAEs/PPARα-signaling system in the regulation of hippocampal functions.
Frontiers in Neuroanatomy 03/2014; 8:12. DOI:10.3389/fnana.2014.00012 · 3.54 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Growing awareness of cerebellar involvement in addiction is based on the cerebellum’s intermediary position between motor and reward, potentially acting as an interface between motivational and cognitive functions. Here, we examined the impact of acute and repeated cocaine exposure on the two main signaling systems in the mouse cerebellum: the endocannabinoid (eCB) and glutamate systems. To this end, we investigated whether eCB signaling-related gene and protein expression (CB1 receptors and enzymes that produce (DAGLα/β and NAPE-PLD) and degrade (MAGL and FAAH) eCB) were altered. In addition, we analyzed the gene expression of relevant components of the glutamate signaling system (glutamate synthesizing enzymes LGA and KGA, mGluR3/5 metabotropic receptors, and NR1/2A/2B/2C-NMDA and GluR1/2/3/4-AMPA ionotropic receptor subunits) and the gene expression of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the rate-limiting enzyme in catecholamine biosynthesis, because noradrenergic terminals innervate the cerebellar cortex. Results indicated that acute cocaine exposure decreased DAGLα expression, suggesting a down-regulation of 2-AG production, as well as gene expression of TH, KGA, mGluR3 and all ionotropic receptor subunits analyzed in the cerebellum. The acquisition of conditioned locomotion and sensitization after repeated cocaine exposure were associated with an increased NAPE-PLD/FAAH ratio, suggesting enhanced anandamide production, and a decreased DAGLβ/MAGL ratio, suggesting decreased 2-AG generation. Repeated cocaine also increased LGA gene expression but had no effect on glutamate receptors. These findings indicate that acute cocaine modulates the expression of the eCB and glutamate systems. Repeated cocaine results in normalization of glutamate receptor expression, although sustained changes in eCB is observed. We suggest that cocaine-induced alterations to cerebellar eCB should be considered when analyzing the adaptations imposed by psychostimulants that lead to addiction.
Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience 03/2014; 8:22. DOI:10.3389/fnint.2014.00022
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: De novo lipogenesis and hypercaloric diets are thought to contribute to increased fat mass, particularly in abdominal fat depots. CB1 is highly expressed in adipose tissue, and CB1-mediated signalling is associated with stimulation of lipogenesis and diet-induced obesity, though its contribution to increasing fat deposition in adipose tissue is controversial. Lipogenesis is regulated by transcription factors such as liver X receptor (LXR), sterol-response element binding protein (SREBP) and carbohydrate-responsive-element-binding protein (ChREBP). We evaluated the role of CB1 in the gene expression of these factors and their target genes in relation to lipogenesis in the perirenal adipose tissue (PrAT) of rats fed a high-carbohydrate diet (HCHD) or a high-fat diet (HFD). Both obesity models showed an up-regulated gene expression of CB1 and Lxrα in this adipose pad. The Srebf-1 and ChREBP gene expressions were down-regulated in HFD but not in HCHD. The expression of their target genes encoding for lipogenic enzymes showed a decrease in diet-induced obesity and was particularly dramatic in HFD. In HCHD, CB1 blockade by AM251 reduced the Srebf-1 and ChREBP expression and totally abrogated the remnant gene expression of their target lipogenic enzymes. The phosphorylated form of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK-p), which participates in the CB1-mediated signalling pathway, was markedly present in the PrAT of obese rats. ERK-p was drastically repressed by AM251 indicating that CB1 is actually functional in PrAT of obese animals, though its activation loses the ability to stimulate lipogenesis in PrAT of obese rats. Even so, the remnant expression levels of lipogenic transcription factors found in HCHD-fed rats are still dependent on CB1 activity. Hence, in HCHD-induced obesity, CB1 blockade may help to further potentiate the reduction of lipogenesis in PrAT by means of inducing down-regulation of the ChREBP and Srebf-1 gene expression, and consequently in the expression of lipogenic enzymes.
PLoS ONE 02/2014; 9(2):e90016. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0090016 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Addiction to major drugs of abuse such as cocaine has been recently linked to alterations on adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus. The endogenous cannabinoid system modulated this proliferative response since pharmacological activation/blockade of cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors by modulating not only neurogenesis but also cell death in the brain. In the present study, we evaluated whether the endogenous cannabinoid system affects cocaine-induced alterations in cell proliferation . To this end we examined if pharmacological blockade of either CB1 (Rimonabant, 3 mg/kg) or CB2 receptors (AM630, 3 mg/kg) affects cell proliferation (labeled with BrdU), found in the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the lateral ventricles and the dentate subgranular zone (SGZ). In addition, we measured cell apoptosis (monitored by the expression of cleaved caspase-3) and glial activation ( by analizing the expression of GFAP and Iba-1) in the striatum and hippocampus, during acute or repeated (4 days) cocaine administration (20 mg/kg). Results showed that acute cocaine decreased the number of BrdU+ cells in SVZ and SGZ. In contrast, repeated cocaine reduced the number of BrdU+ cells in SVZ only. Both acute and repeated cocaine increased the number of cleaved caspase-3+, GFAP+ and Iba1+ cells in the hippocampus, an effect counteracted by AM630 or Rimonabant that increased the number of BrdU+, GFAP+ and Iba1+ cells in the hippocampus. These results indicate that changes on neurogenic, apoptotic and gliosis processes, which were produced as a consequence of repeated cocaine administration, were normalized by the pharmacological blockade of CB1 and CB2. The restoring effects of cannabinoid receptor blockade on hippocampal cell proliferation were associated with a prevention of the induction of conditioned locomotion, but not of cocaine-induced sensitization.
Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience 01/2014; 7:106. DOI:10.3389/fnint.2013.00106
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cocaine is associated with serious health problems including psychiatric co-morbidity. There is a need for the identification of biomarkers for the stratification of cocaine-addicted subjects. Several studies have evaluated circulating endocannabinoid-related lipids as biomarkers of inflammatory, metabolic and mental disorders. However, little is known in substance use disorders. This study characterizes both free N-acyl-ethanolamines (NAEs) and 2-acyl-glycerols in abstinent cocaine addicts from outpatient treatment programs who were diagnosed with cocaine use disorder (CUD; n = 88), and age-/gender-/body mass-matched healthy control volunteers (n = 46). Substance and mental disorders that commonly occur with substance abuse were assessed by the semi-structured interview 'Psychiatric Research Interview for Substance and Mental Diseases' according to the 'Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision' (DSM-IV-TR) and plasma-free acyl derivatives were quantified by a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry system. The results indicate that plasma acyl derivatives are altered in abstinent cocaine-addicted subjects with CUD (CUD subjects). While NAEs were found to be increased, 2-acyl-glycerols were decreased in CUD subjects compared with controls. Multivariate predictive models based on these lipids as explanatory variables were developed to distinguish CUD subjects from controls providing high discriminatory power. However, these alterations were not influenced by the DSM-IV-TR criteria for cocaine abuse and dependence as cocaine trait severity measure. In contrast, we observed that some free acyl derivatives in CUD subjects were found to be affected by the diagnosis of some co-morbid psychiatric disorders. Thus, we found that the monounsaturated NAEs were significantly elevated in CUD subjects diagnosed with mood [N-oleoyl-ethanolamine and N-palmitoleoyl-ethanolamine (POEA)] and anxiety (POEA) disorders compared with non-co-morbid CUD subjects. Interestingly, the coexistence of alcohol use disorders did not influence the circulating levels of these free acyl derivatives. In summary, we have identified plasma-free acyl derivatives that might serve as reliable biomarkers for CUD. Furthermore, we found that monounsaturated NAE levels are also enhanced by co-morbid mood and anxiety disorders in cocaine addicts. These findings open the way for the development of new strategies for cocaine addiction diagnosis and treatment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: β-adrenergic receptor activation promotes brown adipose tissue (BAT) β-oxidation and thermogenesis by burning fatty acids during uncoupling respiration. Oleoylethanolamide (OEA) can inhibit feeding and stimulate lipolysis by activating the peroxisome proliferator-activating receptor-α (PPARα) in the white adipose tissue (WAT). Here we explore whether PPARα activation potentiates the effect of β3-adrenergic stimulation on energy balance mediated by the respective agonists OEA and CL316243. The effect of this pharmacological association was monitored on feeding, thermogenesis, β-oxidation and lipid/cholesterol metabolism in epididymal (e)WAT. CL316243 (1 mg/kg) and OEA (5 mg/kg) co-administration over 6 days enhanced the reduction of food intake and body weight gain, increased the energy expenditure and reduced the respiratory quotient (VCO2/VO2). This negative energy balance agreed with decreased fat mass and increased BAT weight and temperature, as well as lowered plasma levels of triglycerides, cholesterol, NEFAs and the adipokines leptin and TNF-α. Regarding eWAT, CL316243 and OEA treatment elevated the thermogenic factors PPARα and UCP1, reduced p38-MAPK phosphorylation, and promoted brown-like features in the white adipocytes, as the mitochondrial (Cox4i1, Cox4i2) and BAT (Fgf21, Prdm16) genes were over-expressed in eWAT. The enhancement of the fatty acid β-oxidation factors Cpt1b and Acox1 in eWAT was accompanied with an up-regulation of de novo lipogenesis and a reduction of the unsaturated fatty acid synthesis enzyme Scd1. We propose that the combination of β-adrenergic and PPARα receptor agonists promote therapeutic adipocyte remodelling in eWAT that confer a potential clinical utility for the treatment of obesity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG) are modulators of glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), two transmitters involved in cocaine addiction. However, little is known on the effects of cocaine on the enzymes that produce and degrade endocannabinoids. The present work addresses the effects of cocaine self-administration on the immunohistochemical expression of endocannabinoid signalling (ECS)-related proteins in the hippocampus. The study has been performed on two different strains of rats, Lewis (Lew) and Fischer 344 (F344), which are characterized for displaying a differential sensitivity to cocaine, thus making them suitable in the study of vulnerability to drug addiction. Both strains showed differences in the expression of ECS-related proteins in the hippocampus, i.e. Lew rats exhibited lower CB1 expression but higher CB2 expression than F344 rats. After setting similar cocaine self-administration, both strains showed clear differences in the expression of ECS-related proteins, which were differentially restricted to either the 2-AG or anandamide signalling pathways in a self-administration training/drug-dependent manner. The decreases observed in CB1 expression and N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine phospholipase D:fatty acid amino hydrolase ratio after saline self-administration were enhanced only in cocaine self-administered Lew rats. CB2 expression increase and diacylglycerol lipase α:monoacylglycerol lipase ratio decrease detected after saline self-administration were blocked only in cocaine self-administered F344 rats. These findings indicate that cocaine may regulate hippocampal GABA/glutamate synapses by directly modulating endocannabinoid production/degradation enzymes and that these actions are strain-dependent. This differential response suggests that the endogenous cannabinoid system might contribute to genotype/strain differences on the sensitivity to self-administration training and cocaine addiction.
The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 09/2013; 16:1277-1293. DOI:10.1017/S1461145712001186 · 4.01 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Soy extracts have been claimed to be neuroprotective against brain insults, an effect related to the estrogenic properties of isoflavones. However, the effects of individual isoflavones on obesity-induced disruption of adult neurogenesis have not yet been analyzed. In the present study we explore the effects of pharmacological administration of daidzein, a main soy isoflavone, in cell proliferation, cell apoptosis and gliosis in the adult hippocampus of animals exposed to a very high-fat diet. Rats made obese after 12-week exposure to a standard or high-fat (HFD, 60%) diets were treated with daidzein (50 mg kg(-1)) for 13 days. Then, plasma levels of metabolites and metabolic hormones, cell proliferation in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus (SGZ), and immunohistochemical markers of hippocampal cell apoptosis (caspase-3), gliosis (GFAP and Iba-1), food reward factor FosB and estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) were analyzed. Treatment with daidzein reduced food/caloric intake and body weight gain in obese rats. This was associated with glucose tolerance, low levels of HDL-cholesterol, insulin, adiponectin and testosterone, and high levels of leptin and 17β-estradiol. Daidzein increased the number of phospho-histone H3 and 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine (BrdU)-ir cells detected in the SGZ of standard diet and HFD-fed rats. Daidzein reversed the HFD-associated enhanced immunohistochemical expression of caspase-3, FosB, GFAP, Iba-1 and ERα in the hippocampus, being more prominent in the dentate gyrus. These results suggest that pharmacological treatment with isoflavones regulates metabolic alterations associated with enhancement of cell proliferation and reduction of apoptosis and gliosis in response to high-fat diet.
PLoS ONE 05/2013; 8(5):e64750. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0064750 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This review analyzes the roles of lipid transmitters, especially those derived from the cleavage of membrane phospholipids, in cocaine-associated behaviors. These lipid signals are important modulators of information processing in the brain, affecting transmitter release, neural plasticity, synaptogenesis, neurogenesis, and cellular energetics. This broad range of actions makes them suitable targets for pharmaceutical development of cocaine addiction therapies because they participate in the main cellular processes underlying the neuroadaptations associated with chronic use of this psychostimulant. The main lipid transmitters reviewed here include a) acylethanolamides and acylglycerols acting on cannabinoid receptors, such as anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol; b) acylethanolamides that do not act on cannabinoid receptors, such as oleoylethanolamide; c) eicosanoids derived from arachidonic acid, including prostaglandins; and d) lysophosphatidic acid, focusing on the role of its LPA-1 receptor. Direct experimental evidence for the significance of these lipids in cocaine-related behaviors is presented and discussed. Additionally, the roles for both their biosynthesis and degradation pathways, as well as the participation of their receptors, are examined. Overall, lipid transmitter signaling can offer new targets for the development of therapies for cocaine addiction.
Current pharmaceutical design 04/2013; 19(40). DOI:10.2174/138161281940131209143421 · 3.45 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diet-induced obesity produces changes in endocannabinoid signaling (ECS), influencing the regulation of energy homeostasis. Recently, we demonstrated that, in high-fat-diet-fed rats, blockade of CB1 receptor by AM251 not only reduced body weight but also increased adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus, suggesting an influence of diet on hippocampal cannabinoid function. To further explore the role of hippocampal ECS in high-fat-diet-induced obesity, we investigated whether the immunohistochemical expression of the enzymes that produce (diacylglycerol lipase alpha and N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine phospholipase D) and degrade (monoacylglycerol lipase and fatty acid amino hydrolase) endocannabinoids may be altered in the hippocampus of AM251 (3 mg/kg)-treated rats fed three different diets: standard diet (normal chow), high-carbohydrate diet (70% carbohydrate) and high-fat diet (60% fat). Results indicated that AM251 reduced caloric intake and body weight gain, and induced a modulation of the expression of ECS-related proteins in the hippocampus of animals exposed to hypercaloric diets. These effects were differentially restricted to either the 2-arachinodoyl glycerol or anandamide signaling pathways, in a diet-dependent manner. AM251-treated rats fed the high-carbohydrate diet showed a reduction of the diacylglycerol lipase alpha : monoacylglycerol lipase ratio, whereas AM251-treated rats fed the high-fat diet showed a decrease of the N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine phospholipase D : fatty acid amino hydrolase ratio. These results are consistent with the reduced levels of hippocampal endocannabinoids found after food restriction. Regarding the CB1 expression, AM251 induced specific changes focused in the CA1 stratum pyramidale of high-fat-diet-fed rats. These findings indicated that the cannabinoid antagonist AM251 modulates ECS-related proteins in the rat hippocampus in a diet-specific manner. Overall, these results suggest that the hippocampal ECS participates in the physiological adaptations to different caloric diets.
European Journal of Neuroscience 10/2012; 37(1). DOI:10.1111/ejn.12012 · 3.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have modelled elaidyl-sulfamide (ES), a sulfamoyl analogue of oleoylethanolamide (OEA). ES is a lipid mediator of satiety that works through the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα). We have characterised the pharmacological profile of ES (0.3-3 mg/kg body weight) by means of in silico molecular docking to the PPARα receptor, in vitro transcription through PPARα, and in vitro and in vivo administration to obese rats. ES interacts with the binding site of PPARα in a similar way as OEA does, is capable of activating PPARα and also reduces feeding in a dose-dependent manner when administered to food-deprived rats. When ES was given to obese male rats for 7 days, it reduced feeding and weight gain, lowered plasma cholesterol and reduced the plasmatic activity of transaminases, indicating a clear improvement of hepatic function. This pharmacological profile is associated with the modulation of both cholesterol and lipid metabolism regulatory genes, including the sterol response element-binding proteins SREBF1 and SREBF2, and their regulatory proteins INSIG1 and INSIG2, in liver and white adipose tissues. ES treatment induced the expression of thermogenic regulatory genes, including the uncoupling proteins UCP1, UCP2 and UCP3 in brown adipose tissue and UCP3 in white adipose tissue. However, its chronic administration resulted in hyperglycaemia and insulin resistance, which represent a constraint for its potential clinical development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies in animal models and humans suggest anti-inflammatory roles on the N-acylethanolamide (NAE)-peroxisome proliferators activated receptor alpha (PPARα) system in inflammatory bowel diseases. However, the presence and function of NAE-PPARα signaling system in the ulcerative colitis (UC) of humans remain unknown as well as its response to active anti-inflammatory therapies such as 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA) and glucocorticoids. Expression of PPARα receptor and PPARα ligands-biosynthetic (NAPE-PLD) and -degrading (FAAH and NAAA) enzymes were analyzed in untreated active and 5-ASA/glucocorticoids/immunomodulators-treated quiescent UC patients compared to healthy human colonic tissue by RT-PCR and immunohistochemical analyses. PPARα, NAAA, NAPE-PLD and FAAH showed differential distributions in the colonic epithelium, lamina propria, smooth muscle and enteric plexus. Gene expression analysis indicated a decrease of PPARα, PPARγ and NAAA, and an increase of FAAH and iNOS in the active colitis mucosa. Immunohistochemical expression in active colitis epithelium confirmed a PPARα decrease, but showed a sharp NAAA increase and a NAPE-PLD decrease, which were partially restored to control levels after treatment. We also characterized the immune cells of the UC mucosa infiltrate. We detected a decreased number of NAAA-positive and an increased number of FAAH-positive immune cells in active UC, which were partially restored to control levels after treatment. NAE-PPARα signaling system is impaired during active UC and 5-ASA/glucocorticoids treatment restored its normal expression. Since 5-ASA actions may work through PPARα and glucocorticoids through NAE-producing/degrading enzymes, the use of PPARα agonists or FAAH/NAAA blockers that increases endogenous PPARα ligands may yield similar therapeutics advantages.
PLoS ONE 05/2012; 7(5):e37729. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0037729 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is well known that the endocannabinoid system, through cannabinoid CB1 receptor activation, has an important role in the main aspects of energy balance (i.e. food intake, energy expenditure and glucose and fat metabolism), orchestrating all the machinery involved in body weight control and energy homeostasis. A number of studies have revealed a crucial role of brain CB1 receptors in these processes. However, functional cannabinoid CB2 receptors have also been described in the brain, with no studies addressing their putative role in body weight control and glucose homeostasis. We have tested this hypothesis by analysing fasting-induced feeding, body weight, some hypothalamic neuropeptides, glucose tolerance and plasma hormones in an animal model specifically overexpressing CB2 receptors in the central nervous system. We found that specific overexpression of CB2 receptors in the brain promoted higher basal glucose levels, decreased fasting-induced feeding and, eventually, led to a lean phenotype and glucose intolerance. These findings could not be attributed to decreased locomotor activity, increased anxiety or depressive-like behaviours. The expression of relevant neuropeptides such as pro-opiomelanocortin and galanin in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus was altered but not those of the CB1 receptor. Indeed, no changes in CB1 expression were found in the liver, skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. However, cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptor expression in the endocrine pancreas and glucagon plasma levels were decreased. No changes in plasma adiponectin, leptin, insulin and somatostatin were found. Taken together, these results suggest a role for central cannabinoid CB2 receptors in body weight control and glucose homeostasis.
Journal of Neuroendocrinology 04/2012; 24(8):1106-19. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2826.2012.02325.x · 3.14 Impact Factor