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Recent studies have demonstrated anxiolytic potential of pharmacological endocannabinoid (eCB) augmentation approaches in a variety of preclinical models. Pharmacological inhibition of endocannabinoid-degrading enzymes, such as fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), elicit promising anxiolytic effects in rodent models with limited adverse behavioral effects, however, the efficacy of dual FAAH/MAGL inhibition has not been investigated. In the present study, we compared the effects of FAAH (PF-3845), MAGL (JZL184) and dual FAAH/MAGL (JZL195) inhibitors on (1) anxiety-like behaviors under non-stressed and stressed conditions, (2) locomotor activity and body temperature, (3) lipid levels in the brain and (4) cognitive functions. Behavioral analysis showed that PF-3845 or JZL184, but not JZL195, was able to prevent restraint stress-induced anxiety in the light-dark box assay when administered before stress exposure. Moreover, JZL195 treatment was not able to reverse foot shock-induced anxiety-like behavior in the elevated zero maze or light-dark box. JZL195, but not PF-3845 or JZL184, decreased body temperature and increased anxiety-like behavior in the open-field test. Overall, JZL195 did not show anxiolytic efficacy and the effects of JZL184 were more robust than that of PF-3845 in the models examined. These results showed that increasing either endogenous AEA or 2-AG separately produces anti-anxiety effects under stressful conditions but the same effects are not obtained from simultaneously increasing both AEA and 2-AG.
Vitamin D is a steroid hormone precursor that is associated with a range of human traits and diseases. Previous GWAS of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations have identified four genome-wide significant loci (GC, NADSYN1/DHCR7, CYP2R1, CYP24A1). In this study, we expand the previous SUNLIGHT Consortium GWAS discovery sample size from 16,125 to 79,366 (all European descent). This larger GWAS yields two additional loci harboring genome-wide significant variants (P = 4.7×10 at rs8018720 in SEC23A, and P = 1.9×10 at rs10745742 in AMDHD1). The overall estimate of heritability of 25-hydroxyvitamin D serum concentrations attributable to GWAS common SNPs is 7.5%, with statistically significant loci explaining 38% of this total. Further investigation identifies signal enrichment in immune and hematopoietic tissues, and clustering with autoimmune diseases in cell-type-specific analysis. Larger studies are required to identify additional common SNPs, and to explore the role of rare or structural variants and gene-gene interactions in the heritability of circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels.
The cyclooxygenases COX-1 and COX-2 oxygenate arachidonic acid (AA) to prostaglandin H (PGH). COX-2 also oxygenates the endocannabinoids 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and arachidonoylethanolamide (AEA) to the corresponding PGH analogs. Both enzymes are targets of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), but NSAID-mediated COX inhibition is associated with gastrointestinal toxicity. One potential strategy to counter this toxicity is to also inhibit fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which hydrolyzes bioactive fatty acid ethanolamides (FAEs) into fatty acids and ethanolamine. Here, we investigated the mechanism of COX inhibition by ARN2508, an NSAID that inhibits both COXs and FAAH with high potency, target selectivity, and decreased gastrointestinal toxicity in mouse models, presumably due to its ability to increase levels of FAEs. A 2.27-Å-resolution X-ray crystal structure of the COX-2·()-ARN2508 complex reveals that ARN2508 adopts a binding pose similar to that of its parent NSAID flurbiprofen. However, ARN2508's alkyl tail is inserted deep into the top channel, an active site region not exploited by any previously reported NSAID. As for flurbiprofen, ARN2508's potency is highly dependent on the configuration of the α-methyl group. Thus, ()-ARN2508 is more potent than ()-ARN2508 for inhibition of AA oxygenation by both COXs and 2-AG oxygenation by COX-2. Also, similarly to ()-flurbiprofen, ()-ARN2508 exhibits substrate selectivity for inhibition of 2-AG oxygenation. Site-directed mutagenesis confirms the importance of insertion of the alkyl tail into the top channel for ()-ARN2508's potency and suggests a role for Ser-530 as a determinant of the inhibitor's slow rate of inhibition compared with that of ()-flurbiprofen.
Sirtuins are NAD-dependent protein deacylases that regulate several aspects of metabolism and aging. In contrast to the other mammalian sirtuins, the primary enzymatic activity of mitochondrial sirtuin 4 (SIRT4) and its overall role in metabolic control have remained enigmatic. Using a combination of phylogenetics, structural biology, and enzymology, we show that SIRT4 removes three acyl moieties from lysine residues: methylglutaryl (MG)-, hydroxymethylglutaryl (HMG)-, and 3-methylglutaconyl (MGc)-lysine. The metabolites leading to these post-translational modifications are intermediates in leucine oxidation, and we show a primary role for SIRT4 in controlling this pathway in mice. Furthermore, we find that dysregulated leucine metabolism in SIRT4KO mice leads to elevated basal and stimulated insulin secretion, which progressively develops into glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. These findings identify a robust enzymatic activity for SIRT4, uncover a mechanism controlling branched-chain amino acid flux, and position SIRT4 as a crucial player maintaining insulin secretion and glucose homeostasis during aging.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Early-life inflammation has been shown to exert profound effects on brain development and behavior, including altered emotional behavior, stress responsivity and neurochemical/neuropeptide receptor expression and function. The current study extends this research by examining the impact of inflammation, triggered with the bacterial compound lipopolysaccharide (LPS) on postnatal day (P) 14, on social behavior during adolescence. We investigated the role that the endocannabinoid (eCB) system plays in sociability after early-life LPS. To test this, multiple cohorts of Sprague Dawley rats were injected with LPS on P14. In adolescence, rats were subjected to behavioral testing in a reciprocal social interaction paradigm as well as the open field. We quantified eCB levels in the amygdala of P14 and adolescent animals (anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol) as well as adolescent amygdaloid cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) binding site density and the hydrolytic activity of the enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which metabolizes the eCB anandamide. Additionally, we examined the impact of FAAH inhibition on alterations in social behavior. Our results indicate that P14 LPS decreases adolescent social behavior (play and social non-play) in males and females at P40. This behavioral alteration is accompanied by decreased CB1 binding, increased anandamide levels and increased FAAH activity. Oral administration of the FAAH inhibitor PF-04457845 (1mg/kg) prior to the social interaction task normalizes LPS-induced alterations in social behavior, while not affecting social behavior in the control group. Infusion of 10ng PF-04457845 into the basolateral amygdala normalized social behavior in LPS injected females. These data suggest that alterations in eCB signaling following postnatal inflammation contribute to impairments in social behavior during adolescence and that inhibition of FAAH could be a novel target for disorders involving social deficits such as social anxiety disorders or autism.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Pharmacologically elevating brain endocannabinoids (eCBs) share anxiolytic and fear extinction-facilitating properties with classical therapeutics, including the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, fluoxetine. There are also known functional interactions between the eCB and serotonin systems and preliminary evidence that antidepressants cause alterations in brain eCBs. However, the potential role of eCBs in mediating the facilitatory effects of fluoxetine on fear extinction has not been established. Here, to test for a possible mechanistic contribution of eCBs to fluoxetine's proextinction effects, we integrated biochemical, electrophysiological, pharmacological, and behavioral techniques, using the extinction-impaired 129S1/Sv1mJ mouse strain. Chronic fluoxetine treatment produced a significant and selective increase in levels of anandamide in the BLA, and an associated decrease in activity of the anandamide-catabolizing enzyme, fatty acid amide hydrolase. Slice electrophysiological recordings showed that fluoxetine-induced increases in anandamide were associated with the amplification of eCB-mediated tonic constraint of inhibitory, but not excitatory, transmission in the BLA. Behaviorally, chronic fluoxetine facilitated extinction retrieval in a manner that was prevented by systemic or BLA-specific blockade of CB1 receptors. In contrast to fluoxetine, citalopram treatment did not increase BLA eCBs or facilitate extinction. Taken together, these findings reveal a novel, obligatory role for amygdala eCBs in the proextinction effects of a major pharmacotherapy for trauma- and stressor-related disorders and anxiety disorders.
Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) is a central integrator in the brain of endocrine and behavioral stress responses, whereas activation of the endocannabinoid CB1 receptor suppresses these responses. Although these systems regulate overlapping functions, few studies have investigated whether these systems interact. Here we demonstrate a novel mechanism of CRH-induced anxiety that relies on modulation of endocannabinoids. Specifically, we found that CRH, through activation of the CRH receptor type 1 (CRHR1), evokes a rapid induction of the enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which causes a reduction in the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA), within the amygdala. Similarly, the ability of acute stress to modulate amygdala FAAH and AEA in both rats and mice is also mediated through CRHR1 activation. This interaction occurs specifically in amygdala pyramidal neurons and represents a novel mechanism of endocannabinoid-CRH interactions in regulating amygdala output. Functionally, we found that CRH signaling in the amygdala promotes an anxious phenotype that is prevented by FAAH inhibition. Together, this work suggests that rapid reductions in amygdala AEA signaling following stress may prime the amygdala and facilitate the generation of downstream stress-linked behaviors. Given that endocannabinoid signaling is thought to exert "tonic" regulation on stress and anxiety responses, these data suggest that CRH signaling coordinates a disruption of tonic AEA activity to promote a state of anxiety, which in turn may represent an endogenous mechanism by which stress enhances anxiety. These data suggest that FAAH inhibitors may represent a novel class of anxiolytics that specifically target stress-induced anxiety.
Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/353879-14$15.00/0.
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is the strongest known risk factor for gastric carcinogenesis. One cancer-linked locus is the cag pathogenicity island, which translocates components of peptidoglycan into host cells. NOD1 is an intracellular immune receptor that senses peptidoglycan from Gram-negative bacteria and responds by inducing autophagy and activating NF-κB, leading to inflammation-mediated bacterial clearance; however chronic pathogens can evade NOD1-mediated clearance by altering peptidoglycan structure. We previously demonstrated that the H. pylori cag(+) strain 7.13 rapidly induces gastric cancer in Mongolian gerbils. Using 2D-DIGE and mass spectrometry, we identified a novel mutation within the gene encoding the peptidoglycan deacetylase PgdA; therefore, we sought to define the role of H. pylori PgdA in NOD1-dependent activation of NF-κB, inflammation, and cancer. Coculture of H. pylori strain 7.13 or its pgdA(-) isogenic mutant with AGS gastric epithelial cells or HEK293 epithelial cells expressing a NF-κB reporter revealed that pgdA inactivation significantly decreased NOD1-dependent NF-κB activation and autophagy. Infection of Mongolian gerbils with an H. pylori pgdA(-) mutant strain led to significantly decreased levels of inflammation and malignant lesions in the stomach; however, preactivation of NOD1 before bacterial challenge reciprocally suppressed inflammation and cancer in response to wild-type H. pylori. Expression of NOD1 differs in human gastric cancer specimens compared with noncancer samples harvested from the same patients. These results indicate that peptidoglycan deacetylation plays an important role in modulating host inflammatory responses to H. pylori, allowing the bacteria to persist and induce carcinogenic consequences in the gastric niche.
©2015 American Association for Cancer Research.
Stress is a major risk factor for the development of mood and anxiety disorders; elucidation of novel approaches to mitigate the deleterious effects of stress could have broad clinical applications. Pharmacological augmentation of central endogenous cannabinoid (eCB) signaling may be an effective therapeutic strategy to mitigate the adverse behavioral and physiological consequences of stress. Here we show that acute foot-shock stress induces a transient anxiety state measured 24 h later using the light-dark box assay and novelty-induced hypophagia test. Acute pharmacological inhibition of the anandamide-degrading enzyme, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), reverses the stress-induced anxiety state in a cannabinoid receptor-dependent manner. FAAH inhibition does not significantly affect anxiety-like behaviors in non-stressed mice. Moreover, whole brain anandamide levels are reduced 24 h after acute foot-shock stress and are negatively correlated with anxiety-like behavioral measures in the light-dark box test. These data indicate that central anandamide levels predict acute stress-induced anxiety, and that reversal of stress-induced anandamide deficiency is a key mechanism subserving the therapeutic effects of FAAH inhibition. These studies provide further support that eCB-augmentation is a viable pharmacological strategy for the treatment of stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death in young adults in the United States, but there is still no effective agent for treatment. N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide, AEA) is a major endocannabinoid in the brain. Its increase after brain injury is believed to be protective. However, the compensatory role of AEA is transient due to its rapid hydrolysis by the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). Thus, inhibition of FAAH can boost the endogenous levels of AEA and prolong its protective effect. Using a TBI mouse model, we found that post-injury chronic treatment with PF3845, a selective and potent FAAH inhibitor, reversed TBI-induced impairments in fine motor movement, hippocampus dependent working memory and anxiety-like behavior. Treatment with PF3845 inactivated FAAH activity and enhanced the AEA levels in the brain. It reduced neurodegeneration in the dentate gyrus, and up-regulated the expression of Bcl-2 and Hsp70/72 in both cortex and hippocampus. PF3845 also suppressed the increased production of amyloid precursor protein, prevented dendritic loss and restored the levels of synaptophysin in the ipsilateral dentate gyrus. Furthermore, PF3845 suppressed the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase-2 and enhanced the expression of arginase-1 post-TBI, suggesting a shift of microglia/macrophages from M1 to M2 phenotype. The effects of PF3845 on TBI-induced behavioral deficits and neurodegeneration were mediated by activation of cannabinoid type 1 and 2 receptors and might be attributable to the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and AKT. These results suggest that selective inhibition of FAAH is likely to be beneficial for TBI treatment.
Published by Elsevier Ltd.