Palmitoylethanolamide exerts neuroprotective effects in mixed neuroglial cultures: relevance for Alzheimer’s dementia

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) has been studied extensively for its anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiepileptic and neuroprotective effects.

A quote from a paper on the neuroprotective effects of palmitoylethanolamide, tested in models for Alzheimer’s disease, models of so called Aβ neurotoxicity.

β-amyloid (Aβ) is the core of pathology in ALzheimer and this protein induces glial activation and promotes release of proinflammatory molecules that may self-perpetuate reactive gliosis and damage neurons, thus amplifying neuropathological lesions occurring in Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  Using various cultures, the autors found that PEA has clear anti-inflammatory properties working via the PPARα mechanism, and their experiments revealed that PEA reduces reactive gliosis and subsequently induces a marked rebound neuroprotective effect on neurons.

Main findings:

1. PEA inhibits astroglial proliferation and reduces neuronal loss in mixed neuroglia co-cultures exposed to Aβ.

2. PEA decreases astrocyte activation in organotypic cultures of rat hippocampi and rescues neuronal CA3 damage caused by Aβ challenge.

Conclusion:

Our data suggest that PEA is capable of profoundly reducing reactive astrogliosis and of guaranteeing neuronal protection in Aβ-induced neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative events.

Source:

Scuderi C1, Valenza M, Stecca C, Esposito G, Carratù MR, Steardo L. Palmitoylethanolamide exerts neuroprotective effects in mixed neuroglial cultures and organotypic hippocampal slices via peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α. J Neuroinflammation. 2012 Mar 9;9:49. doi: 10.1186/1742-2094-9-21.

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