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      N-Palmitoylethanolamine depot injection increased its tissue levels and those of other acylethanolamide lipids

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          N-Palmitoylethanolamine (NAE 16:0) is an endogenous lipid signaling molecule that has limited water solubility, and its action is short-lived due to its rapid metabolism. This poses a problem for use in vivo as oral administration requires a high concentration for significant levels to reach target tissues, and injection of the compound in a dimethyl sulfoxide- or ethanol-based vehicle is usually not desirable during long-term treatment. A depot injection of NAE 16:0 was successfully emulsified in sterile corn oil (10 mg/kg) and administered in young DBA/2 mice in order to elevate baseline levels of NAE 16:0 in target tissues. NAE 16:0 levels were increased in various tissues, particularly in the retina, 24 and 48 hours following injections. Increases ranged between 22% and 215% (above basal levels) in blood serum, heart, brain, and retina and induced an entourage effect by increasing levels of other 18 carbon N-Acylethanolamines (NAEs), which ranged between 31% and 117% above baseline. These results indicate that NAE 16:0 can be used as a depot preparation, avoiding the use of inadequate vehicles, and can provide the basis for designing tissue-specific dosing regimens for therapies involving NAEs and related compounds.

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          Influence of dietary fatty acids on endocannabinoid and N-acylethanolamine levels in rat brain, liver and small intestine.

          Endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines are lipid mediators regulating a wide range of biological functions including food intake. We investigated short-term effects of feeding rats five different dietary fats (palm oil (PO), olive oil (OA), safflower oil (LA), fish oil (FO) and arachidonic acid (AA)) on tissue levels of 2-arachidonoylglycerol, anandamide, oleoylethanolamide, palmitoylethanolamide, stearoylethanolamide, linoleoylethanolamide, eicosapentaenoylethanolamide, docosahexaenoylethanolamide and tissue fatty acid composition. The LA-diet increased linoleoylethanolamide and linoleic acid in brain, jejunum and liver. The OA-diet increased brain levels of anandamide and oleoylethanolamide (not 2-arachidonoylglycerol) without changing tissue fatty acid composition. The same diet increased oleoylethanolamide in liver. All five dietary fats decreased oleoylethanolamide in jejunum without changing levels of anandamide, suggesting that dietary fat may have an orexigenic effect. The AA-diet increased anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol in jejunum without effect on liver. The FO-diet decreased liver levels of all N-acylethanolamines (except eicosapentaenoylethanolamide and docosahexaenoylethanolamide) with similar changes in precursor lipids. The AA-diet and FO-diet had no effect on N-acylethanolamines, endocannabinoids or precursor lipids in brain. All N-acylethanolamines activated PPAR-alpha. In conclusion, short-term feeding of diets resembling human diets (Mediterranean diet high in monounsaturated fat, diet high in saturated fat, or diet high in polyunsaturated fat) can affect tissue levels of endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines.
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            Circulating endocannabinoids and N-acyl ethanolamines are differentially regulated in major depression and following exposure to social stress.

            Central endocannabinoid signaling is known to be responsive to stressful stimuli; however, there is no research to date characterizing the effects of stress on peripheral endocannabinoid content. The current study examined serum content of the endocannabinoid ligands N-arachidonylethanolamide (anandamide; AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), and the non-cannabinoid N-acyl ethanolamine (NAE) molecules palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) and oleoylethanolamide (OEA) under basal conditions, immediately following the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), and 30 min thereafter, in 15 medication-free women diagnosed with major depression, and 15 healthy matched controls. Basal serum concentrations of AEA and 2-AG, but not PEA or OEA, were significantly reduced in women with major depression relative to matched controls, indicating a deficit in peripheral endocannabinoid activity. Immediately following the TSST, serum 2-AG concentrations were increased compared to baseline; serum AEA concentration was unchanged at this time point. Serum concentrations of PEA and OEA were significantly lower than baseline 30 min following the cessation of the TSST. The magnitude of these responses did not differ between depressed and control subjects. These are the first data to demonstrate that the peripheral endocannabinoid/NAE system is responsive to exposure to stress.
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              'Entourage' effects of N-palmitoylethanolamide and N-oleoylethanolamide on vasorelaxation to anandamide occur through TRPV1 receptors.

              The endocannabinoid N-arachidonoylethanolamide (anandamide) is co-synthesized with other N-acylethanolamides, namely N-palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) and N-oleoylethanolamide (OEA), which have been shown to potentiate anandamide responses (so-called 'entourage effects') in non-vascular tissues. It remains unclear whether such interactions occur in the circulation. In rat isolated small mesenteric arteries, the effects of PEA and OEA on relaxation to anandamide and tissue contents of the N-acylethanolamides were examined under myographic conditions. Anandamide-induced relaxation was potentiated by pretreatment with PEA (10 microM) or OEA (1 microM), or in combination. The potentiation by PEA and OEA was endothelium-independent and abolished by treatment with capsaicin (10 microM), which desensitizes the transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) receptor system, or by the TRPV1 receptor antagonist, N-(3-methoxyphenyl)-4-chlorocinnamide (SB366791) (2 microM). It was also observed at molar ratios of anandamide and PEA (or OEA) similar to those found in mesenteric arteries. PEA and inhibition of anandamide hydrolysis by 3'-carbamoyl-biphenyl-3-yl-cyclohexylcarbamate (URB597) (1 microM) additively potentiated anandamide responses. On the other hand, PEA and OEA also induced vasorelaxation per se (rank order of potency: anandamide>OEA>PEA), but relaxation to the three N-acylethanolamides displayed different sensitivity to treatment with capsaicin, SB366791 and URB597. For example, relaxations to anandamide and OEA, but not PEA, were attenuated by both capsaicin and SB366791. This study shows that PEA and OEA potentiate relaxant responses to anandamide through TRPV1 receptors in rat small mesenteric arteries. The congeners also induce vasorelaxation per se, suggesting a function for the N-acylethanolamides in vascular control.

                Author and article information

                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                12 August 2013
                : 7
                : 747-752
                [1 ]Vision Research Center, Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, University of Missouri – Kansas City, Kansas City, MO, USA
                [2 ]University of North Texas, Center for Plant Lipid Research, Department of Biological Sciences, Denton, TX, USA
                [3 ]Department of Basic Medical Science, School of Medicine, University of Missouri – Kansas City, Kansas City, MO, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Peter Koulen, University of Missouri – Kansas City, School of Medicine, Vision Research Center, 2411 Holmes Street, Kansas City, MO 64108, USA, Tel +1 816 404 1834, Fax +1 816 404 1825, Email koulenp@ 123456umkc.edu

                *These authors contributed equally to this work

                © 2013 Grillo et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd

                This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Original Research


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