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Oleoylethanolamide decreases frustration stress-induced binge-like eating in female rats: a novel potential treatment for binge eating disorder


Abstract

Binge eating disorder (BED) is the most frequent eating disorder, for which current pharmacotherapies show poor response rates and safety concerns, thus highlighting the need for novel treatment options. The lipid-derived messenger oleoylethanolamide (OEA) acts as a satiety signal inhibiting food intake through the involvement of central noradrenergic and oxytocinergic neurons. We investigated the anti-binge effects of OEA in a rat model of binge-like eating, in which, after cycles of intermittent food restrictions/refeeding and palatable food consumptions, female rats show a binge-like intake of palatable food, following a 15-min exposure to their sight and smell (“frustration stress”). Systemically administered OEA dose-dependently (2.5, 5, and 10 mg kg−1) prevented binge-like eating. This behavioral effect was associated with a decreased activation (measured by mapping the expression of c-fos, an early gene widely used as a marker of cellular activation) of brain areas responding to stress (such as the nucleus accumbens and amygdala) and to a stimulation of areas involved in the control of food intake, such as the VTA and the PVN. These effects were paralleled, also, to the modulation of monoamine transmission in key brain areas involved in both homeostatic and hedonic control of eating. In particular, a decreased dopaminergic response to stress was observed by measuring dopamine extracellular concentrations in microdialysates from the nucleus accumbens shell, whereas an increased serotonergic and noradrenergic tone was detected in tissue homogenates of selected brain areas. Finally, a decrease in corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) mRNA levels was induced by OEA in the central amygdala, while an increase in oxytocin mRNA levels was induced in the PVN. The restoration of a normal oxytocin receptor density in the striatum paralleled the oxytocinergic stimulation produced by OEA. In conclusion, we provide evidence suggesting that OEA might represent a novel potential pharmacological target for the treatment of binge-like eating behavior.

Abstract

Binge eating disorder (BED) is the most frequent eating disorder, for which current pharmacotherapies show poor response rates and safety concerns, thus highlighting the need for novel treatment options. The lipid-derived messenger oleoylethanolamide (OEA) acts as a satiety signal inhibiting food intake through the involvement of central noradrenergic and oxytocinergic neurons. We investigated the anti-binge effects of OEA in a rat model of binge-like eating, in which, after cycles of intermittent food restrictions/refeeding and palatable food consumptions, female rats show a binge-like intake of palatable food, following a 15-min exposure to their sight and smell (“frustration stress”). Systemically administered OEA dose-dependently (2.5, 5, and 10 mg kg−1) prevented binge-like eating. This behavioral effect was associated with a decreased activation (measured by mapping the expression of c-fos, an early gene widely used as a marker of cellular activation) of brain areas responding to stress (such as the nucleus accumbens and amygdala) and to a stimulation of areas involved in the control of food intake, such as the VTA and the PVN. These effects were paralleled, also, to the modulation of monoamine transmission in key brain areas involved in both homeostatic and hedonic control of eating. In particular, a decreased dopaminergic response to stress was observed by measuring dopamine extracellular concentrations in microdialysates from the nucleus accumbens shell, whereas an increased serotonergic and noradrenergic tone was detected in tissue homogenates of selected brain areas. Finally, a decrease in corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) mRNA levels was induced by OEA in the central amygdala, while an increase in oxytocin mRNA levels was induced in the PVN. The restoration of a normal oxytocin receptor density in the striatum paralleled the oxytocinergic stimulation produced by OEA. In conclusion, we provide evidence suggesting that OEA might represent a novel potential pharmacological target for the treatment of binge-like eating behavior.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Veterinary Physiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Pharmacology
Health Sciences > Psychiatry and Mental Health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Pharmacology, Psychiatry and Mental health
Language:English
Date:1 October 2020
Deposited On:18 Jun 2020 05:58
Last Modified:11 Sep 2020 01:05
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:0893-133X
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41386-020-0686-z
PubMed ID:32353860

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