Palmitoylethanolamide attenuates astrocyte activation and neuroinflammation in an model of Alzheimer’s disease

C. Scuderi et al described important results at a pharmacological meeting at the 35° CONGRESSO NAZIONALE DELLA SOCIETÀ ITALIANA DI FARMACOLOGIA in 2011: Palmitoylethanolamide is able to attenuate astrocyte activation and neuroinflammation in an in vivo model of Alzheimer’s disease.

Meanwhile it is general knowledge that neuroinflammation is involved in the course of many neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Such inflammation can be triggered by the accumulation of abnormal proteins or by signal-molecules from injured neurons. Beta amyloid (Aβ) in the form of amyloid plaques is one of the most potent inducers of neuroinflammation.

The authors state that palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) has attracted much attention for its proven anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties, together with recent findings demonstrating the efficiency of PEA to blunt astrogliosis.

In their first experiment rats (250-300g) were inoculated with human Aβ peptide fragment (1-42) into the hippocampus.
PEA (10mg/kg) was i.p. administered for 7 consecutive days starting from the day of surgery.

The expression of GFAP and S100B, specific markers of astrocyte activity were marked increase in both GFAP and S100B expression after Aβ challenge. This could be significantly attenuated by PEA treatment.

2. Peptide injection resulted in a significant increase in iNOS and COX-2 expression and pro-inflammatory cytokines up-release, such as IL1β and TNFα. PEA could antagonize the enhancement of both expression and release of all pro-inflammatory molecules detected.

The authors concluded:

…the current study suggests the ability of PEA to mitigate astrocyte activation and neuroinflammatory process in an in vivo model of AD.

The relevance of these results resides in the hypothesis that pharmacological attenuation of excessive and prolonged reactive gliosis may serve as innovative strategies for therapies aimed at antagonizing the course of AD.

Source: C. Scuderi, M. Valenza, P. Ratano, A. Steardo, G. Esposito, P. Campolongo, M.R. Carratù and L. Steardo Palmitoylethanolamide is able to attenuate astrocyte activation and neuroinflammation in an in vivo model of Alzheimer’s disease. Presented at the 35° CONGRESSO NAZIONALE DELLA SOCIETÀ ITALIANA DI FARMACOLOGIA in 2011:

2011-Palmitoylethanolamide attenuates astrocyte activation and neuroinflammation in an model of Alzheimer’s disease

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