[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Key factors driving eating behavior are hunger and satiety, which are controlled by a complex interplay of central neurotransmitter systems and peripheral stimuli. The lipid-derived messenger oleoylethanolamide (OEA) is released by enterocytes in response to fat intake and indirectly signals satiety to hypothalamic nuclei. Brain histamine is released during the appetitive phase to provide a high level of arousal in anticipation of feeding, and mediates satiety. However, despite the possible functional overlap of satiety signals, it is not known whether histamine participates in OEA-induced hypophagia. Using different experimental settings and diets, we report that the anorexiant effect of OEA is significantly attenuated in mice deficient in the histamine-synthesizing enzyme histidine decarboxylase (HDC-KO) or acutely depleted of histamine via interocerebroventricular infusion of the HDC blocker α-fluoromethylhistidine (α-FMH). α-FMH abolished OEA-induced early occurrence of satiety onset while increasing histamine release in the CNS with an H3 receptor antagonist-increased hypophagia. OEA augmented histamine release in the cortex of fasted mice within a time window compatible to its anorexic effects. OEA also increased c-Fos expression in the oxytocin neurons of the paraventricular nuclei of WT but not HDC-KO mice. The density of c-Fos immunoreactive neurons in other brain regions that receive histaminergic innervation and participate in the expression of feeding behavior was comparable in OEA-treated WT and HDC-KO mice. Our results demonstrate that OEA requires the integrity of the brain histamine system to fully exert its hypophagic effect and that the oxytocin neuron-rich nuclei are the likely hypothalamic area where brain histamine influences the central effects of OEA.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The initial pharmaceutical interest for the endocannabinoid system as a target for antiobesity therapies has been restricted by the severe adverse effects of the CB1 antagonist rimonabant. This study points at oleoylethanolamide (OEA), a monounsaturated analogue, and functional antagonist of anandamide, as a potential and safer antiobesity alternative to CB1 antagonism. Mice treated with equal doses (5 or 10 mg/kg, i.p.) of OEA or rimonabant were analyzed for the progressive expression of spontaneous behaviors (eating, grooming, rearing, locomotion, and resting) occurring during the development of satiety, according to the paradigm called behavioral satiety sequence (BSS). Both drugs reduced food (wet mash) intake to a similar extent. OEA treatment decreased eating activity within the first 30 min and caused a temporary increase of resting time that was not accompanied by any decline of horizontal, vertical and total motor activity. Besides decreasing eating activity, rimonabant caused a marked increase of the time spent grooming and decreased horizontal motor activity, alterations that might be indicative of aversive nonmotivational effects on feeding. These results support the idea that OEA suppresses appetite by stimulating satiety and that its profile of action might be predictive of safer effects in humans as a novel antiobesity treatment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and purpose:
The development of potent and selective inhibitors of the biosynthesis of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) via DAG lipases (DAGL) α and β is just starting to be considered as a novel and promising source of pharmaceuticals for the treatment of disorders that might benefit from a reduction in endocannabinoid tone, such as hyperphagia in obese subjects.
Three new fluorophosphonate compounds O-7458, O-7459 and O-7460 were synthesized and characterized in various enzymatic assays. The effects of O-7460 on high-fat diet intake were tested in mice.
Of the new compounds, O-7460 exhibited the highest potency (IC₅₀ = 690 nM) against the human recombinant DAGLα, and selectivity (IC₅₀ > 10 μM) towards COS-7 cell and human monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), and rat brain fatty acid amide hydrolase. Competitive activity-based protein profiling confirmed that O-7460 inhibits mouse brain MAGL only at concentrations ≥ 10 μM, and showed that this compound has only one major 'off-target', that is, the serine hydrolase KIAA1363. O-7460 did not exhibit measurable affinity for human recombinant CB₁ or CB₂ cannabinoid receptors (Ki > 10 μM). In mouse neuroblastoma N18TG2 cells stimulated with ionomycin, O-7460 (10 μM) reduced 2-AG levels. When administered to mice, O-7460 dose-dependently (0-12 mg·kg⁻¹, i.p.) inhibited the intake of a high-fat diet over a 14 h observation period, and, subsequently, slightly but significantly reduced body weight.
Conclusions and implications:
O-7460 might be considered a useful pharmacological tool to investigate further the role played by 2-AG both in vitro and in vivo under physiological as well as pathological conditions.
No preview · Article · Oct 2012 · British Journal of Pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Social anhedonia, or the diminished capacity to experience pleasure and reward from social affiliation, is a major symptom of different psychiatric disorders, including some forms of infantile autism and schizophrenia spectrum disorders. The brain opioid hypothesis of social attachment is a promising model for achieving insights into how neurobiological and developmental factors contribute to the regulation of social reward. In this study, genetic knocking-out and naltrexone (NTRX) treatment during the first 4 days of life were used to disrupt opioid neurotransmission in mouse pups and their attachment relationships with the mother. Both permanent (genetic) and transient (pharmacological) manipulations of opioid neurotransmission exerted long-term effects on social affiliation. When juveniles, both μ-opioid receptor knockout mice and NTRX-treated pups showed reduced interest in peers and no preference for socially rewarding environment. These results demonstrate that sociability in juvenile mice is highly dependent on the establishment during infancy of a positive affective relationship with their mothers and that opioid neurotransmission has a major role in the regulation of social hedonic capacity. If the validity of this animal model will be confirmed by future research, translational studies focusing on the interaction between early experience and opioid neurotransmission could provide useful insights for identifying endophenotypes of human psychiatric disorders associated with social anhedonia.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · Translational Psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evidence shows that maternal care and postnatal traumatic events can exert powerful effects on brain circuitry development but little is known about the impact of early postnatal experiences on processing of rewarding and aversive stimuli related to the medial prefrontal cortex (mpFC) function in adult life. In this study, the unstable maternal environment induced by repeated cross-fostering (RCF) impaired palatable food conditioned place preference and disrupted the natural preference for sweetened fluids in the saccharin preference test. By contrast, RCF increased sensitivity to conditioned place aversion (CPA) and enhanced immobility in the forced swimming test. Intracerebral microdialysis data showed that the RCF prevents mpFC dopamine (DA) outflow regardless of exposure to rewarding or aversive stimuli, whereas it induces a strong and sustained prefrontal norepinephrine (NE) release in response to different aversive experiences. Moreover, the selective mpFC NE depletion abolished CPA, thus indicating that prefrontal NE is required for motivational salience attribution to aversion-related stimuli. These findings demonstrate that an unstable maternal environment impairs the natural propensity to seek pleasurable sources of reward, enhances sensitivity to negative events in adult life, blunts prefrontal DA outflow, and modulates NE release in the reverse manner depending on the exposure to rewarding or aversive stimuli.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The impact of stress is widely recognized in the etiology of multiple disorders. In particular, psychological stress may increase the risk of cardiovascular, metabolic, immune, and mood disorders. Several genes are considered potential candidates to account for the deleterious consequences of stress and recent data point to role of Vgf. VGF mRNA is abundantly expressed in the hypothalamus, where it has been involved in metabolism and energy homeostasis; more recently a link between VGF-derived peptides and mood disorders has been highlighted. The following experiments were performed to address the contribution of the VGF-system to stress induced changes in mice: the distribution of VGF immuno-reactivity in hypothalamic nuclei and its modulation by social stress; the role of VGF-derived peptide TLQP-21 in plasma catecholamine release induced by acute restraint stress (RS); the efficacy of chronic TLQP-21 in a mouse model of chronic subordination stress (CSS). VGF fibers were found in high density in arcuate, dorsomedial, and suprachiasmatic and, at lower density, in lateral, paraventricular, and ventromedial hypothalamic nuclei. Central administration of either 2 or 4 mM TLQP-21 acutely altered the biphasic serum epinephrine release and decreased norepinephrine serum levels in response to RS. Finally, 28-day of 40 μg/day TLQP-21 treatment increased CSS-induced social avoidance of an unfamiliar conspecific. Overall these data support a role for TLQP-21 in stress responses providing a promising starting point to further elucidate its role as a player in stress-related human pathologies.
No preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Behavioural brain research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The peptides encoded by the VGF gene are gaining biomedical interest and are increasingly being scrutinized as biomarkers for human disease. An endocrine/neuromodulatory role for VGF peptides has been suggested but never demonstrated. Furthermore, no study has demonstrated so far the existence of a receptor-mediated mechanism for any VGF peptide. In the present study, we provide a comprehensive in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo identification of a novel pro-lipolytic pathway mediated by the TLQP-21 peptide. We show for the first time that VGF-immunoreactivity is present within sympathetic fibres in the WAT (white adipose tissue) but not in the adipocytes. Furthermore, we identified a saturable receptor-binding activity for the TLQP-21 peptide. The maximum binding capacity for TLQP-21 was higher in the WAT as compared with other tissues, and selectively up-regulated in the adipose tissue of obese mice. TLQP-21 increases lipolysis in murine adipocytes via a mechanism encompassing the activation of noradrenaline/β-adrenergic receptors pathways and dose-dependently decreases adipocytes diameters in two models of obesity. In conclusion, we demonstrated a novel and previously uncharacterized peripheral lipolytic pathway encompassing the VGF peptide TLQP-21. Targeting the sympathetic nerve-adipocytes interaction might prove to be a novel approach for the treatment of obesity-associated metabolic complications.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2011 · Biochemical Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In man, many different events implying childhood separation from caregivers/unstable parental environment are associated with heightened risk for panic disorder in adulthood. Twin data show that the occurrence of such events in childhood contributes to explaining the covariation between separation anxiety disorder, panic, and the related psychobiological trait of CO2 hypersensitivity. We hypothesized that early interference with infant-mother interaction could moderate the interspecific trait of response to CO2 through genetic control of sensitivity to the environment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mice born from high care-giving females show, as adults, low anxiety levels, decreased responsiveness to stress, and substantial improvements in cognitive function and hippocampal plasticity. Given the relevance of this issue for preventing emotional and cognitive abnormalities in high-risk subjects, this study examines the possibility to further enhance the beneficial effects observed in the progeny by augmenting maternal care beyond the highest levels females can display in standard laboratory conditions. This was produced by placing a second female with the dam and its litter in the rearing cage from the partum until pups weaning. Maternal behavior of all females was scored during the first week postpartum, and behavioral indices of emotionality, prestress and poststress corticosterone levels, cognitive performance, and hippocampal morphology were assessed in the adult offspring. We found that pups reared by female dyads received more maternal care than pups reared by dams alone, but as adults, they did not exhibit alterations in emotionality or corticosterone response estimated in basal condition or following restraint stress. Conversely, they showed enhanced performance in hippocampal-dependent tasks including long-term object discrimination, reactivity to spatial change, and fear conditioning together with an increase in dendritic length and spine density in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. In general, the beneficial effects of dyadic maternal care were stronger when both the females were lactating. This study demonstrates that double-mothering exerts a long-term positive control on cognitive function and hippocampal neuronal connectivity. This experimental manipulation, especially if associated with increased feeding, might offer a concrete possibility to limit or reverse the consequences of negative predisposing conditions for normal cognitive development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A large body of evidence links altered opioid signaling with changes in social behavior in animals. However, few studies have attempted to determine whether similar links exist in humans. Here we investigate whether a common polymorphism (A118G) in the mu-opioid receptor gene (OPRM1) is associated with alterations in personality traits linked to affiliative behavior and attachment. In a mixed sample (N = 214) of adult healthy volunteers and psychiatric patients, we analyzed the association between the A118G polymorphism of the OPRM1 and two different psychological constructs reflecting individual differences in the capacity to experience social reward. Compared to individuals expressing only the major allele (A) of the A118G polymorphism, subjects expressing the minor allele (G) had an increased tendency to become engaged in affectionate relationships, as indicated by lower scores on a self-report measure of avoidant attachment, and experienced more pleasure in social situations, as indicated by lower scores on a self-report measure of social anhedonia. The OPRM1 variation accounted for about 3.5% of the variance in the two measures. The significant association between the A118G polymorphism and social hedonic capacity was independent of the participants' mental health status. The results reported here are in agreement with the brain opioid hypothesis of social attachment and the established role of opioid transmission in mediating affiliative behavior.
No preview · Article · Feb 2011 · Social neuroscience
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The opioid system controls social behavior and it was hypothesized that it therefore plays a role in neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism that are characterized by social and communication deficits. Mice communicate via ultrasonic vocalizations. As pups, they produce ultrasonic vocalizations when isolated from dam and littermates. These calls serve an important biological purpose, since they elicit search and retrieval behavior in the mother. Administration of μ-opioid-receptor-agonists diminishes such isolation-induced ultrasonic vocalizations and μ-opioid-receptor knock-out mouse pups (Orpm(-/-)) emit fewer ultrasonic vocalizations during isolation than intact controls (Orpm(+/+)). In adulthood, male and female mice produce ultrasonic vocalizations during social interactions. However, little is known about occurrence and function of ultrasonic vocalizations produced by adult females. Here, we conducted a playback experiment in order to assess whether female ultrasonic vocalizations elicit changes in the recipient's behavior and whether a possible change in behavior is dependent on a functioning opioid system by comparing Orpm(-/-) mice with Orpm(+/+) controls. Our results showed that female ultrasonic vocalizations elicit exploratory activity in male recipients and that elicitation of exploratory activity in response to female ultrasonic vocalizations is dependent on an intact opioid system, since such a response was not seen in Orpm(-/-) mice. Lack of exploratory activation seen in Orpm(-/-) mice is unlikely due to hearing deficits as shown by an auditory cued fear-conditioning-task. Hence, these findings support the phenotypic relevance of Orpm(-/-) mice for the study of autism.
No preview · Article · Feb 2011 · Social neuroscience
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Beside the therapeutic improvement over first-generation antipsychotics, the fact that prescription of atypical agents is also associated to the emergence of severe metabolic derangement in patients is not a mystery anymore. Body weight gain, dyslipidemia, adiposity, impaired glucose homeostasis, insulin and leptin resistance and new-onset type II diabetes are all part of a syndromic cluster of vast medical concern. Thus, clinical reports and rodent models of atypical antipsychotic-associated metabolic impairment have growth in parallel as separate territories. This review focuses on the attempt to take a snapshot of the present developing moment and to describe to what extent clinical data are reflected by the findings derived from animal studies. This aim is pursued through different steps that, starting from the criteria necessary to characterize the "atypicality" of atypical drugs, then explore the consistency among clinical and animal-based data. The endpoint of this survey consists in the analysis of the potential mechanisms underlying the metabolic derangement induced by this class of drugs. It is, indeed, our opinion that some atypical antipsychotics should be viewed as potent obesogenic factors that can be exploited as valuable tools to shed light into the elusive dilemma of obesity. For this reason, recently identified obesogenic and diabetogenic mechanisms are the background on which the present work is built and some novel forthcoming lines of investigation suggested.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In comparison with conventional, first-generation antipsychotics (e.g., haloperidol), the administration of atypical antipsychotics (AAPs) has been associated with a higher risk of metabolic derangements, including body weight increase, dysregulation of glucose homeostasis, fat accumulation, and even liability to develop type II diabetes. Since this is a serious clinical problem that may be further exacerbated in overweight schizophrenics, establishing animal models of AAP-induced adverse effects may contribute to clarifying the mechanisms underlying these effects. Here we present three basic protocols by which this problem has been modeled. The three protocols differ in many aspects (routes of administration, extent of the chronic treatment, diets, and dosage regimen), and the pros and cons of each procedure are systematically detailed throughout. It should be noted that several factors (e.g., species, sex, duration, and class of AAPs) could restrict the feasibility of these models, as well as their correspondence to the clinical condition.
No preview · Article · Jul 2010 · Current protocols in neuroscience / editorial board, Jacqueline N. Crawley ... [et al.]
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neurons detect free fatty acids (FFAs) availability and use this nutritional status to modulate feeding and control body weight.
The work is designed to characterize the impact on feeding behavior of either oleic acid (OA) administration (experiment 1) or the inhibition (experiment 2) of the enzyme carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 (CPT-1). The structure of feeding behavior and satiation time course were examined through the behavioral satiety sequence (BSS) paradigm.
Adult male mice were initially habituated to a palatable diet, then subjected to intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) infusion of different doses of OA or the CPT-1 inhibitor ST1326. Food intake at different time points, duration, and frequencies of feeding and non-feeding-related behaviors were continuously monitored over 40 min and satiety development profiled according to BSS.
Intra-i.c.v. infusion of oleic acid (300 nM) and ST1326 (50 and 75 pM) suppressed food intake. As indicated by the earlier leftward shifting of the normal transition from eating to resting, both strategies similarly accelerated the onset of satiety. The premature onset of satiety resulted in a dose-related fashion with 50 pM of ST1326 producing a marked premature onset than the lower dose. However, at the highest dose injected, the inhibition of CPT-1 disrupted the BSS profile.
The increased neuronal availability of FFAs mediates a significant anorectic response which is mirrored by an early occurrence of satiety onset. Besides supporting the role of central nutrient sensing in feeding, the present data demonstrate that the modulation of satiety enhancement can produce appetite suppressant effects within narrow range of neuronal FFAs availability.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2010 · Psychopharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to model in mice the association between metabolic syndrome and the administration of atypical antipsychotic (AAP). Two dosages (4 and 8 mg/kg per day) of olanzapine (OL) were infused in 36 female mice for 30 days by osmotic mini-pumps. This study was also designed to further extend the implications raised in other experiments by our model of AAP-induced metabolic dysregulation. Through the use of the osmotic mini-pumps, this model is aimed to circumvent the shorter (than in humans) half-life of AAPs in rodents and to chronically administer OL by a reliable and less disturbing method. Indirect calorimetry was used to evaluate metabolic rate (MR) and respiratory exchange ratio together with weight and caloric intake. Serum insulin, leptin, and glucose tolerance (oral glucose tolerance test) were assessed. Pancreatic beta cells insulin levels, periuterine and liver fat content were also analyzed. Olanzapine-infused mice exhibited a reduction of overall MR (kilojoule per hour) and resting MR and respiratory exchange ratio, with periuterine fat significantly enlarged. All metabolic alterations were detected at the highest dose, with major effects found on weight gain and hyperphagia. Impaired glucose metabolism, associated with hyperinsulinemia and hyperleptinemia were found. Insulin resistance was evidenced by the raise of HOMA-IR index. Increased insulin and lipid storage were detected at pancreatic and hepatic levels respectively. These findings illustrate the development of a cluster of risk factors (metabolic syndrome) and, for the first time, a decrease of energy expenditure (MR) due to chronic OL infusion.
No preview · Article · Dec 2009 · Journal of clinical psychopharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mice lacking the serotonin receptor 1A (Htr1a knockout, Htr1a(KO)) show increased innate and conditioned anxiety. This phenotype depends on functional receptor activity during the third through fifth weeks of life and thus appears to be the result of long-term changes in brain function as a consequence of an early deficit in serotonin signaling. To evaluate whether this phenotype can be influenced by early environmental factors, we subjected Htr1a knockout mice to postnatal handling, a procedure known to reduce anxiety-like behavior and stress responses in adulthood. Offspring of heterozygous Htr1a knockout mice were separated from their mother and exposed 15 min each day from postnatal day 1 (PD1) to PD14 to clean bedding. Control animals were left undisturbed. Maternal behavior was observed during the first 13 days of life. Adult male offspring were tested in the open field, social approach and resident-intruder tests and assessed for corticosterone response to restraint stress. Knockout mice showed increased anxiety in the open field and in the social approach test as well as an enhanced corticosterone response to stress. However, while no effect of postnatal handling was seen in wild-type mice, handling reduced anxiety-like behavior in the social interaction test and the corticosterone response to stress in knockout mice. These findings extend the anxiety phenotype of Htr1a(KO) mice to include social anxiety and demonstrate that this phenotype can be moderated by early environmental factors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The vgf gene regulates energy homeostasis and the VGF-derived peptide TLQP-21 centrally exerts catabolic effects in mice and hamsters. Here, we investigate the effect of chronic intracerebroventricular (icv) injection of TLQP-21 in mice fed high fat diet (HFD). Fast weight-gaining mice injected with the peptide or cerebrospinal fluid were selected for physiological, endocrine, and molecular analysis. TLQP-21 selectively inhibited the increase in body weight and epididymal white adipose tissue (eWAT) weight induced by HFD in control animals despite both groups having a similar degree of hyperphagia. TLQP-21 normalized the increase in leptin and decrease in ghrelin while increasing epinephrine and epinephrine/norepinephrine ratio when compared to values in controls. Finally, HFD-TLQP-21 mice showed a selective increase of eWAT beta3-adrenergic receptor mRNA. Peroxisome-proliferator-activated-receptor-delta and hormone-sensing-lipase mRNA were also upregulated. In conclusion, chronic icv infusion of TLQP-21 prevented the early phase of diet-induced obesity despite overfeeding. These effects were paralleled by activation of catabolic pathways within the eWAT. Our results further support a role for TLQP-21 as a catabolic neuropeptide.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2009 · Genes & Nutrition
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to assess the effects of chronic olanzapine (Ola) administration on feeding behavior. Although atypical antipsychotics (AAPs) have greatly improved the management of schizophrenia and extrapyramidal symptoms, substantial bodies of literature point out that most of these agents are highly related to a major risk of metabolic drawbacks, leading to dyslipidemia and obesity. Among these compounds, Ola is one of the more weight gain-inducing AAPs. In the present study, we analyzed the Behavioral Satiety Sequence (BSS) in female mice given a palatable diet (wet mash) and chronically administered Ola (0.75, 1.5, 3 mg/kg per os) for 36 days. The results showed that administration of the highest dose of Ola postponed the onset of satiation, as suggested by the rightward shift of the BSS. This effect was confirmed by an increase in the actual food intake by the Ola (3 mg/kg) mice. These results suggest that one of the possible mechanisms involved in AAPinduced weight gain is alteration of the hunger-satiety regulation in female mice. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that enhanced food intake and diminished central sensitivity to satiation signaling may cooperate in promoting weight gain and metabolic dysregulation in rodents and patients taking antipsychotic medications.
No preview · Article · Oct 2008 · Eating and weight disorders: EWD