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Stimulation of brain glucose uptake by cannabinoid CB2 receptors and its therapeutic potential in Alzheimer's disease

By Attila Köfalvi, Cristina Lemos, Ana M. Martín-Moreno, Bárbara S. Pinheiro, Luis García-García, Miguel A. Pozo, Ângela Valério-Fernandes, Rui O. Beleza, Paula Agostinho, Ricardo J. Rodrigues, Susana J. Pasquaré, Rodrigo A. Cunha and María L. de Ceballos

Abstract

AbstractCannabinoid CB2 receptors (CB2Rs) are emerging as important therapeutic targets in brain disorders that typically involve neurometabolic alterations. We here addressed the possible role of CB2Rs in the regulation of glucose uptake in the mouse brain. To that aim, we have undertaken 1) measurement of 3H-deoxyglucose uptake in cultured cortical astrocytes and neurons and in acute hippocampal slices; 2) real-time visualization of fluorescently labeled deoxyglucose uptake in superfused hippocampal slices; and 3) in vivo PET imaging of cerebral 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose uptake. We now show that both selective (JWH133 and GP1a) as well as non-selective (WIN55212-2) CB2R agonists, but not the CB1R-selective agonist, ACEA, stimulate glucose uptake, in a manner that is sensitive to the CB2R-selective antagonist, AM630. Glucose uptake is stimulated in astrocytes and neurons in culture, in acute hippocampal slices, in different brain areas of young adult male C57Bl/6j and CD-1 mice, as well as in middle-aged C57Bl/6j mice. Among the endocannabinoid metabolizing enzymes, the selective inhibition of COX-2, rather than that of FAAH, MAGL or α,βDH6/12, also stimulates the uptake of glucose in hippocampal slices of middle-aged mice, an effect that was again prevented by AM630. However, we found the levels of the endocannabinoid, anandamide reduced in the hippocampus of TgAPP-2576 mice (a model of β-amyloidosis), and likely as a consequence, COX-2 inhibition failed to stimulate glucose uptake in these mice. Together, these results reveal a novel general glucoregulatory role for CB2Rs in the brain, raising therapeutic interest in CB2R agonists as nootropic agents

Publisher: The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Year: 2016
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2016.03.015
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