Monounsaturated fatty acids generated via stearoyl CoA desaturase-1 are endogenous inhibitors of fatty acid amide hydrolase.
ABSTRACT: High-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity and insulin resistance are associated with increased activity of the endocannabinoid/CB1 receptor (CB1R) system that promotes the hepatic expression of lipogenic genes, including stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 (SCD1). Mice deficient in CB1R or SCD1 remain lean and insulin-sensitive on an HFD, suggesting a functional link between the two systems. The HFD-induced increase in the hepatic levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide [i.e., arachidonoylethanolamide (AEA)] has been attributed to reduced activity of the AEA-degrading enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). Here we show that HFD-induced increased hepatic AEA levels and decreased FAAH activity are absent in SCD1(-/-) mice, and the monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) products of SCD1, palmitoleic and oleic acid, inhibit FAAH activity in vitro at low micromolar concentrations. HFD markedly increases hepatic SCD1 activity in WT mice as well as in CB1R(-/-) mice with transgenic reexpression of CB1R in hepatocytes, but not in global CB1R(-/-) mice. Treatment of HFD-fed mice with the SCD1 inhibitor A939572 prevents the diet-induced reduction of hepatic FAAH activity, normalizes hepatic AEA levels, and improves insulin sensitivity. SCD1(-/-) mice on an HFD remain insulin-sensitive, but develop glucose intolerance and insulin resistance in response to chronic treatment with the FAAH inhibitor URB597. An HFD rich in MUFA or feeding mice pure oleic acid fail to inhibit hepatic FAAH activity. We conclude that MUFAs generated via SCD1 activity, but not diet-derived MUFAs, function as endogenous FAAH inhibitors mediating the HFD-induced increase in hepatic AEA, which then activates hepatic CB1R to induce insulin resistance.
Project description:Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is associated with all features of the metabolic syndrome. Although deposition of excess triglycerides within liver cells, a hallmark of NAFLD, is associated with a loss of insulin sensitivity, it is not clear which cellular abnormality arises first. We have explored this in mice overexpressing carbohydrate responsive element-binding protein (ChREBP). On a standard diet, mice overexpressing ChREBP remained insulin sensitive, despite increased expression of genes involved in lipogenesis/fatty acid esterification and resultant hepatic steatosis (simple fatty liver). Lipidomic analysis revealed that the steatosis was associated with increased accumulation of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). In primary cultures of mouse hepatocytes, ChREBP overexpression induced expression of stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (Scd1), the enzyme responsible for the conversion of saturated fatty acids (SFAs) into MUFAs. SFA impairment of insulin-responsive Akt phosphorylation was therefore rescued by the elevation of Scd1 levels upon ChREBP overexpression, whereas pharmacological or shRNA-mediated reduction of Scd1 activity decreased the beneficial effect of ChREBP on Akt phosphorylation. Importantly, ChREBP-overexpressing mice fed a high-fat diet showed normal insulin levels and improved insulin signaling and glucose tolerance compared with controls, despite having greater hepatic steatosis. Finally, ChREBP expression in liver biopsies from patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis was increased when steatosis was greater than 50% and decreased in the presence of severe insulin resistance. Together, these results demonstrate that increased ChREBP can dissociate hepatic steatosis from insulin resistance, with beneficial effects on both glucose and lipid metabolism.
Project description:Activation of the hepatic cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R) induces insulin resistance and gluconeogenesis via endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, thereby contributing to hyperglycemia. Gomisin N (GN) is a phytochemical derived from <i>Schisandra chinensis</i>. In the current study, we investigated the inhibitory effects of GN on hepatic CB1R-mediated insulin resistance and gluconeogenesis in 2-arachidonoylglycerol (AG; an agonist of CB1R)-treated HepG2 cells and in high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mice. Treatment with 2-AG induced the expression of ER stress markers, serine/threonine phosphatase <i>PHLPP1</i>, <i>Lipin1</i>, and ceramide synthesis genes, but reduced the expression of ceramide degradation genes in HepG2 cells. However, GN reversed 2-AG-mediated effects and improved the 2-AG-mediated impairment of insulin signaling. Furthermore, GN inhibited 2-AG-induced intracellular triglyceride accumulation and glucose production in HepG2 cells by downregulation of lipogenesis and gluconeogenesis genes, respectively. In vivo, GN administration to HFD obese mice reduced the HFD-induced increase in fasting blood glucose and insulin levels, which was accompanied with downregulation of HFD-induced expression of CB1R, ER stress markers, ceramide synthesis gene, and gluconeogenesis genes in the livers of HFD obese mice. These findings demonstrate that GN protects against hepatic CB1-mediated impairment of insulin signaling and gluconeogenesis, thereby contributing to the amelioration of hyperglycemia.
Project description:Biological mechanisms associated with response to trauma may impact risk for depression. One such mechanism is endocannabinoid signaling (eCB), a neuromodulatory system comprised of the CB1 subtype of cannabinoid receptors (CB1R), encoded by the <i>CNR1</i> gene, and two primary endogenous ligands: 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and <i>N</i>-arachidonylethanolamine (AEA), hydrolyzed by monoacylglycerol lipase (gene name <i>MGLL)</i> and fatty acid amide hydrolase (gene name <i>FAAH)</i>. Preclinical data suggest that eCB/CB1R signaling acts as a stress buffer and its loss or suppression increases depression-like behaviors. We examined circulating concentrations of the eCBs (2-AG and AEA) days and six months after a traumatic injury as a marker of eCB/CB1R signaling and as predictors of Center for Epidemiologic Studies of Depression Scale-Revised [CESD-R] scores as a measure of depression severity six months after injury. We also explored associations of <i>CNR1, FAAH,</i> and <i>MGLL</i> genetic variance with depression severity at six months. Results from hierarchical multiple linear regressions showed that higher 2-AG serum concentrations after trauma predicted greater depression at six months (<i>?</i> = 0.23, <i>p</i> = 0.007); neither AEA after trauma, nor 2-AG and AEA at six months were significant predictors (<i>p</i>'s > 0.305). Carriers of minor allele for the putative single nucleotide polymorphism in the <i>CNR1</i> gene rs806371 (? = 0.19, <i>p</i> = 0.024) experienced greater depression at six months. These data suggest that the eCB signaling system is highly activated following trauma and that eCB/CB1R activity contributes to long-term depression risk.
Project description:We have previously shown that administration of the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA) during lactation leads to overweight, increased body fat accumulation, and insulin resistance in adult mice. This study was designed to elucidate if these effects are due to increased food intake, stimulated by an augmented abundance and binding ability of the hypothalamic cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R). With this aim, male mice pups were treated with a daily oral dose of AEA during lactation. Adult mice were also treated with a single oral dose of AEA, to evaluate acute food intake during 4 h. At 21 and 160 days, CB1R protein abundance was calculated by western blot analysis. Capacity of hypothalamic membranes to specifically bind the radioligand 3[H]-CP55.940 was also measured. Western blots showed a 72% increase in CB1R abundance in AEA-treated 21-day-old mice, without differences in adult mice. Additionally, specific binding of 3[H]-CP55.940 to hypothalamic membranes from adult mice was significantly lower in those mice treated with AEA during lactation. Moreover, AEA did not stimulate acute food intake in both, AEA-treated and control mice. Results suggest that metabolic alterations found in adult mice because of AEA treatment during lactation are not associated with hypothalamic CB1R.
Project description:Stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 (SCD1) catalyzes the synthesis of monounsaturated fatty acids from saturated fatty acids. Mice with a targeted disruption of Scd1 gene locus are lean and display increased insulin sensitivity. To examine whether Scd1 activity is required for the development of diet-induced hepatic insulin resistance, we used a sequence-specific antisense oligodeoxynucleotide (ASO) to lower hepatic Scd1 expression in rats and mice with diet-induced insulin resistance. Treatment of rats with Scd1 ASO markedly decreased liver Scd1 expression (approximately 80%) and total Scd activity (approximately 50%) compared with that in rats treated with scrambled ASO (control). Insulin clamp studies revealed severe hepatic insulin resistance in high-fat-fed rats and mice that was completely reversed by 5 days of treatment with Scd1 ASO. The latter treatment decreased glucose production (by approximately 75%), gluconeogenesis, and glycogenolysis. Downregulation of Scd1 also led to increased Akt phosphorylation and marked decreases in the expression of glucose-6-phosphatase (Glc-6-Pase) and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK). Thus, Scd1 is required for the onset of diet-induced hepatic insulin resistance.
Project description:Endocannabinoid signaling regulates feeding and metabolic processes and has been linked to obesity development. Several hormonal signals, such as glucocorticoids and ghrelin, regulate feeding and metabolism by engaging the endocannabinoid system. Similarly, studies have suggested that leptin interacts with the endocannabinoid system, yet the mechanism and functional relevance of this interaction remain elusive. Therefore, we explored the interaction between leptin and endocannabinoid signaling with a focus on fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), the primary degradative enzyme for the endocannabinoid N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide; AEA). Mice deficient in leptin exhibited elevated hypothalamic AEA levels and reductions in FAAH activity while leptin administration to WT mice reduced AEA content and increased FAAH activity. Following high fat diet exposure, mice developed resistance to the effects of leptin administration on hypothalamic AEA content and FAAH activity. At a functional level, pharmacological inhibition of FAAH was sufficient to prevent leptin-mediated effects on body weight and food intake. Using a novel knock-in mouse model recapitulating a common human polymorphism (FAAH C385A; rs324420), which reduces FAAH activity, we investigated whether human genetic variance in FAAH affects leptin sensitivity. While WT (CC) mice were sensitive to leptin-induced reductions in food intake and body weight gain, low-expressing FAAH (AA) mice were unresponsive. These data demonstrate that FAAH activity is required for leptin's hypophagic effects and, at a translational level, suggest that a genetic variant in the FAAH gene contributes to differences in leptin sensitivity in human populations.
Project description:Dysregulation of the hepatic endocannabinoid (EC) system and high fat diet (HFD) are associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Liver cytosol contains high levels of two novel endocannabinoid binding proteins-liver fatty acid binding protein (FABP1) and sterol carrier protein-2 (SCP-2). While Fabp1 gene ablation significantly increases hepatic levels of arachidonic acid (ARA)-containing EC and sex-dependent response to pair-fed high fat diet (HFD), the presence of SCP-2 complicates interpretation. These issues were addressed by ablating Scp-2/Scp-x in Fabp1 null mice (TKO). In control-fed mice, TKO increased hepatic levels of arachidonoylethanolamide (AEA) in both sexes. HFD impacted hepatic EC levels by decreasing AEA in TKO females and decreasing 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) in WT of both sexes. Only TKO males on HFD had increased hepatic 2-AG levels. Hepatic ARA levels were decreased in control-fed TKO of both sexes. Changes in hepatic AEA/2-AG levels were not associated with altered amounts of hepatic proteins involved in AEA/2-AG synthesis or degradation. These findings suggested that ablation of the Scp-2/Scp-x gene in Fabp1 null mice exacerbated hepatic EC accumulation and antagonized the impact of HFD on hepatic EC levels-suggesting both proteins play important roles in regulating the hepatic EC system.
Project description:Increasing evidence shows a potential link between the perinatal nutrient environment and metabolic outcome in offspring. Here, we investigated the effects of maternal feeding of a high-fat diet (HFD) during the perinatal period on hepatic metabolism and inflammation in male offspring mice at weaning and in early adulthood. Female C57BL/6 J mice were fed HFD or normal chow (NC) for 4 weeks before mating and during pregnancy and lactation. The male offspring mice were weaned onto an NC diet, and metabolic and molecular experiments were performed in early adulthood. At postnatal day 21, male offspring mice from HFD-fed dams (Off-HFD) showed significant increases in whole body fat mass and fasting levels of glucose, insulin, and cholesterol compared to male offspring mice from NC-fed dams (Off-NC). The RT-qPCR analysis showed two- to fivefold increases in hepatic inflammatory markers (MCP-1, IL-1β, and F4/80) in Off-HFD mice. Hepatic expression of G6Pase and PEPCK was elevated by fivefold in the Off-HFD mice compared to the Off-NC mice. Hepatic expression of GLUT4, IRS-1, and PDK4, as well as lipid metabolic genes, CD36, SREBP1c, and SCD1 were increased in the Off-HFD mice compared to the Off-NC mice. In contrast, CPT1a mRNA levels were reduced by 60% in the Off-HFD mice. At postnatal day 70, despite comparable body weights to the Off-NC mice, Off-HFD mice developed hepatic inflammation with increased expression of MCP-1, CD68, F4/80, and CD36 compared to the Off-NC mice. Despite normal body weight, Off-HFD mice developed insulin resistance with defects in hepatic insulin action and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in skeletal muscle and brown fat, and these metabolic effects were associated with hepatic inflammation in Off-HFD mice. Our findings indicate hidden, lasting effects of maternal exposure to HFD during pregnancy and lactation on metabolic homeostasis of normal weight offspring mice.
Project description:Upregulation of the hepatic endocannabinoid (EC) receptor [cannabinoid receptor-1 (CB1)] and arachidonoylethanolamide (AEA) is associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Male mice fed high-fat diet (HFD) ad libitum also exhibit NAFLD, increased hepatic AEA, and obesity. But, preference for HFD complicates interpretation and almost nothing is known about these effects in females. These issues were addressed by pair-feeding HFD. Similarly to ad libitum-fed HFD, pair-fed HFD also increased WT male and female mouse fat tissue mass (FTM), but preferentially at the expense of lean tissue mass. In contrast, pair-fed HFD did not elicit NAFLD in WT mice regardless of sex. Concomitantly, pair-fed HFD oppositely impacted hepatic AEA, 2-arachidonoyl glycerol, and/or CB1 in WT males versus females. In pair-fed HFD mice, liver FA binding protein-1 (<i>Fabp1</i>) gene ablation (LKO): <i>i</i>) exacerbated FTM in both sexes; <i>ii</i>) did not elicit liver neutral lipid accumulation in males and only slightly in females; <i>iii</i>) increased liver AEA in males, but decreased it in females; and <i>iv</i>) decreased CB1 only in males. Thus, pair-fed HFD selectively impacted hepatic ECs more in females, but did not elicit NAFLD in either sex. These effects were modified by LKO consistent with FABP1's ability to impact EC and FA metabolism.
Project description:Even a brief exposure to severe stress strengthens synaptic connectivity days later in the amygdala, a brain area implicated in the affective symptoms of stress-related psychiatric disorders. However, little is known about the synaptic signaling mechanisms during stress that eventually culminate in its delayed impact on the amygdala. Hence, we investigated early stress-induced changes in amygdalar synaptic signaling in order to prevent its delayed effects. Whole-cell recordings in basolateral amygdala (BLA) slices from rats revealed higher frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) immediately after 2-h immobilization stress. This was replicated by inhibition of cannabinoid receptors (CB1R), suggesting a role for endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling. Stress also reduced N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA), an endogenous ligand of CB1R. Since stress-induced activation of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) reduces AEA, we confirmed that oral administration of an FAAH inhibitor during stress prevents the increase in synaptic excitation in the BLA soon after stress. Although stress also caused an immediate reduction in synaptic inhibition, this was not prevented by FAAH inhibition. Strikingly, FAAH inhibition during the traumatic stressor was also effective 10 d later on the delayed manifestation of synaptic strengthening in BLA neurons, preventing both enhanced mEPSC frequency and increased dendritic spine-density. Thus, oral administration of an FAAH inhibitor during a brief stress prevents the early synaptic changes that eventually build up to hyperexcitability in the amygdala. This framework is of therapeutic relevance because of growing interest in targeting eCB signaling to prevent the gradual development of emotional symptoms and underlying amygdalar dysfunction triggered by traumatic stress.