Fatty acid amide hydrolase in brain ventricular epithelium: mutually exclusive patterns of expression in mouse and rat.J Chem Neuroanat 2004; 28(3):171-81JC
Fatty acid amides and fatty acid ethanolamides are novel signalling molecules exemplified by the sleep-inducing lipid oleamide and the endocannabinoid anandamide, respectively. These substances are inactivated by fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), an enzyme that is expressed by neurons and non-neuronal cells in the brain. In the rat, FAAH-immunoreactivity has been detected in epithelial cells of the choroid plexus and, in accordance with this finding, here we report FAAH mRNA expression in rat choroid plexus epithelium using in situ hybridisation methods. Surprisingly, a comparative analysis of mouse brain did not reveal FAAH mRNA expression or FAAH-immunoreactivity in the choroid plexus of this species. FAAH-immunoreactivity was, however, detected in non-choroidal ventricular ependymal cells in the mouse brain and the specificity of this immunostaining was confirmed by analysis of FAAH-knockout mice. FAAH-immunoreactivity was detected in ependymal cells throughout the ventricles of the mouse brain but with regional variation in the intensity of immunostaining. Intriguingly, in rat brain, although FAAH expression is observed in choroid plexus epithelial cells, little or no FAAH-immunoreactivity is present in the ventricular ependyma. Thus, there are mutually exclusive patterns of FAAH expression in the ventricular epithelium of rat and mouse brain. Our observations provide the basis for an experimental analysis that exploits differences in FAAH expression in rat and mouse to investigate FAAH function in ventricular epithelial cells and, in particular, the role of FAAH in regulating the sleep-inducing agent oleamide in cerebrospinal fluid.