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Cipriano M.,University of Naples Federico II | Cipriano M.,Umea University | Esposito G.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Negro L.,University of Naples Federico II | And 7 more authors.
CNS and Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets

Aβ-induced astrogliosis can worsen the eziopathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (AD) by the release of proinflammatory and pro-oxidant mediators. Activated glial cells may release also pro-angiogenic molecules. The role of angiogenesis in AD is still controversial: although angiogenesis brings oxygen and nutrients to injured tissue, it may also exacerbate reactive gliosis. Moreover, by altering blood-brain barrier permeability pro-angiogenic mediators promote passage of inflammatory/immune-competent cells into the brain, thereby exacerbating gliosis. The release of proangiogenic factors during astrogliosis may thus be a key-step in controlling AD progression. The endogenous fatty acid amide, palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), is a pleiotropic mediator exerting anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive and antiangiogenic effects in several in vitro and in vivo models of chronic-degenerative disease. In this study, we investigated the effects of PEA in AD angiogenesis and neuroinflammation by using conditioned medium from untreated and Aβ-treated C6 rat astroglioma cells and HUVEC human endothelial cells. PEA (10-8-10-6 M) concentration-dependently reduced expression of pro-inflammatory and pro-angiogenic markers in Aβ (1 μg/mL)-stimulated C6 cells. Moreover, culture medium from PEA-treated C6 cells reduced HUVEC cell proliferation as compared to cells treated with conditioned medium from Aβ-treated C6 cells. Immunocytochemical analysis revealed that PEA treatment inhibited nuclear levels of mitogen-activated protein kinase 1 (the main pro-angiogenic pathway) and cytoplasmic vascular endothelial growth factor in HUVEC cells receiving C6 conditioned medium. Finally, the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha inhibitor GW6471, added to Aβ-treated C6 cells blocked all PEA effects in this model, suggesting that PEA acts through a proliferator-activated receptor alpha-dependent mechanism on astroglial cells. Collectively, these data support the potential therapeutic utility of PEA in AD. © 2015 Bentham Science Publishers. Source

Amoako A.A.,Endocannabinoid Research Group | Amoako A.A.,Leeds Center for Reproductive Medicine | Marczylo T.H.,Public Health England | Elson J.,The London Clinic | And 3 more authors.
Fertility and Sterility

Objective: To determine whether changes in seminal plasma concentrations of the endogenous lipid signaling molecules palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) and oleoylethanolamide (OEA) have significant effects on sperm quality. Design: Biochemical and physiological studies of human seminal plasma and spermatozoa. Setting: Academic tertiary care medical center. Patient(s): Ninety men attending an infertility clinic for semen analysis. Intervention(s): Palmitoylethanolamide and OEA extracted from seminal plasma were quantified by ultra high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)-tandem mass spectrometry. Patient sperm from semen with normal parameters were exposed in vitro to PEA or OEA to determine effects on sperm motility, viability, and mitochondrial activity. Main Outcome Measure(s): The relationship between seminal plasma concentrations of PEA and OEA and sperm quality and the effect of these compounds on sperm motility, viability, and mitochondria activity in vitro. Result(s): Palmitoylethanolamide and OEA concentrations in seminal plasma were lower in men with asthenozoospermia and oligoasthenoteratozospermia compared with men with normal semen parameters. Palmitoylethanolamide and OEA rapidly and significantly improved sperm motility and maintained viability without affecting mitochondria activity in vitro. Conclusion(s): Maintenance of normal PEA and OEA tone in human seminal plasma may be necessary for the preservation of normal sperm function and male fertility. Exocannabinoids found in Cannabis, such as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, could compete with these endocannabinoids upsetting their finely balanced, normal functioning and resulting in male reproductive failure. ©2014 by American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Source

Marczylo E.L.,Systems Toxicology Group | Amoako A.A.,Endocannabinoid Research Group | Konje J.C.,Endocannabinoid Research Group | Gant T.W.,Systems Toxicology Group | And 2 more authors.

Recent work has suggested that environmental chemicals, including those contained in cigarette smoke, can have adverse effects on the exposed individuals as well as their future progeny. The mechanisms underlying transmission of environmentally-induced phenotypes through the germ line are not well understood. However, a predominant process appears to be the establishment of permanent heritable epigenetic alterations, and a number of studies have implicated microRNAs in such processes. Here, we show that cigarette smoke induces specific differences in the spermatozoal microRNA content of human smokers compared with non-smokers, and that these altered microRNAs appear to predominantly mediate pathways vital for healthy sperm and normal embryo development, particularly cell death and apoptosis. microRNA-mediated perturbation of such pathways may explain how harmful phenotypes can be induced in the progeny of smokers. © 2012 Landes Bioscience. Source

D'Acunto M.,University of Salerno | Della Monica C.,University of Salerno | Izzo I.,University of Salerno | De Petrocellis L.,Endocannabinoid Research Group | And 2 more authors.

The enantioselective synthesis of 3(S)-hydroxy polygodial and its acetyl derivative is described. The construction of the 3-hydroxy drimane skeleton was based on the titanium-catalyzed radical cyclization of (10S)-10, 11-epoxy-farnesyl acetate. Only underivatized 3(S)-hydroxy polygodial showed activity in assays on VR1 vanilloid receptor in HEK cells transfected with the human VR1. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Janssen F.J.,Leiden University | Deng H.,Leiden University | Baggelaar M.P.,Leiden University | Allara M.,Endocannabinoid Research Group | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry

sn-1-Diacylglycerol lipase α (DAGL-α) is the main enzyme responsible for the production of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol in the central nervous system. Glycine sulfonamides have recently been identified by a high throughput screening campaign as a novel class of inhibitors for this enzyme. Here, we report on the first structure-activity relationship study of glycine sulfonamide inhibitors and their brain membrane proteome-wide selectivity on serine hydrolases with activity-based protein profiling (ABPP). We found that (i) DAGL-α tolerates a variety of biaryl substituents, (ii) the sulfonamide is required for inducing a specific orientation of the 2,2-dimethylchroman substituent, and (iii) a carboxylic acid is essential for its activity. ABPP revealed that the sulfonamide glycine inhibitors have at least three off-targets, including α/β-hydrolase domain 6 (ABHD6). Finally, we identified LEI-106 as a potent, dual DAGL-α/ABHD6 inhibitor, which makes this compound a potential lead for the discovery of new molecular therapies for diet-induced obesity and metabolic syndrome. © 2014 American Chemical Society. Source

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