Gut-brain axis: Role of lipids in the regulation of inflammation, pain and CNS diseases.

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“The human gut is a composite anaerobic environment with a large, diverse and dynamic enteric microbiota, represented by more than 100 trillion microorganisms, including at least 1000 distinct species. The discovery that a different microbial composition can influence behavior and cognition, and in turn the nervous system can indirectly influence enteric microbiota composition, has significantly contributed to establish the well-accepted concept of gut-brain axis.

This hypothesis is supported by several evidence showing mutual mechanisms, which involve the vague nerve, the immune system, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis modulation and the bacteria-derived metabolites. Many studies have focused on delineating a role for this axis in health and disease, ranging from stress-related disorders such as depression, anxiety and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism, and to neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson Disease, Alzheimer Disease etc.

Based on this background, and considering the relevance of alteration of the symbiotic state between host and microbiota, this review focuses on the role and the involvement of bioactive lipids, such as the N-acylethanolamine (NAE) family whose main members are N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA), palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) and oleoilethanolamide (OEA), and short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), such as butyrate, belonging to a large group of bioactive lipids able to modulate peripheral and central pathologic processes.

It is well established their effective role in inflammation, acute and chronic pain, obesity and central nervous system diseases. It has been shown a possible correlation between these lipids and gut microbiota through different mechanisms.

Indeed, systemic administration of specific bacteria can reduce abdominal pain through the involvement of cannabinoid receptor 1 in rat; on the other hand, PEA reduces inflammation markers in a murine model of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and butyrate, producted by gut microbiota, is effective in reducing inflammation and pain in irritable bowel syndrome and IBD animal models.

In this review, we underline the relationship among inflammation, pain, microbiota and the different lipids, focusing on a possible involvement of NAEs and SCFAs in the gut-brain axis and their role in central nervous system diseases.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28215162

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Mustard vesicants alter expression of the endocannabinoid system in mouse skin.

“Vesicants including sulfur mustard (SM) and nitrogen mustard (NM) are bifunctional alkylating agents that cause skin inflammation, edema and blistering. This is associated with alterations in keratinocyte growth and differentiation.

Endogenous cannabinoids, including N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide, AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), are important in regulating inflammation, keratinocyte proliferation and wound healing.

Their activity is mediated by binding to cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2), as well as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα). Levels of endocannabinoids are regulated by fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH).

We found that CB1, CB2, PPARα and FAAH were all constitutively expressed in mouse epidermis and dermal appendages. Topical administration of NM or SM, at concentrations that induce tissue injury, resulted in upregulation of FAAH, CB1, CB2 and PPARα, a response that persisted throughout the wound healing process.

Inhibitors of FAAH including a novel class of vanillyl alcohol carbamates were found to be highly effective in suppressing vesicant-induced inflammation in mouse skin.

Taken together, these data indicate that the endocannabinoid system is important in regulating skin homeostasis and that inhibitors of FAAH may be useful as medical counter measures against vesicants.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27125198

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