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Early exposure to environmental enrichment alters the expression of genes of the endocannabinoid system.

Abstract

Early environmental enrichment (EE) produces several changes in gene expression in the brain and confers protection against the behavioral, neurochemical and molecular effects of repeated administration of drugs of abuse. Because the endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS) is known to play an important role in the rewarding effects of drugs, we investigated whether the positive effects of early exposure to EE are associated with changes in the expression of genes encoding for proteins that belong to the ECS in C57 mice. Using in situ hybridization, we compared the expression of the cannabinoid receptor CB1, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL) enzymes in brain regions involved in drug addiction in mice reared in either EE or standard environments (SE) from weaning until adulthood. We found that EE increases CB1 mRNA levels in the hypothalamus and in the basolateral amygdala but decreased them in the basomedial amygdala. Similarly, we found that FAAH mRNA levels are higher in the hypothalamus and the basolateral amygdala of EE mice compared to SE mice, with no change in the basomedial amygdala. In contrast, MGL mRNA levels were not affected by EE in any of the areas analyzed. The regional selectivity of EE-induced changes may indicate that early exposure to EE induces changes in the ECS that could result in reduced responses to stress, as confirmed in EE mice in a novelty-induced suppression of feeding test, and, ultimately, in resistance to addiction.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Institut de Physiologie et Biologie Cellulaires, University of Poitiers, CNRS, 1 rue Georges Bonnet, Poitiers, F-86022, France.

    , , , ,

    Source

    Brain research 1390: 2011 May 16 pg 80-9

    MeSH

    Age Factors
    Amidohydrolases
    Animals
    Behavior, Addictive
    Cannabinoid Receptor Modulators
    Endocannabinoids
    Environment
    Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
    Male
    Mice
    Mice, Inbred C57BL
    Monoacylglycerol Lipases
    RNA, Messenger
    Random Allocation
    Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1

    Pub Type(s)

    Comparative Study
    Journal Article
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    21419109

    Citation

    * When formatting your citation, note that all book, journal, and database titles should be italicized* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Early exposure to environmental enrichment alters the expression of genes of the endocannabinoid system. AU - El Rawas,Rana, AU - Thiriet,Nathalie, AU - Nader,Joëlle, AU - Lardeux,Virginie, AU - Jaber,Mohamed, AU - Solinas,Marcello, Y1 - 2011/03/16/ PY - 2011/01/19/received PY - 2011/03/03/revised PY - 2011/03/09/accepted PY - 2011/3/23/entrez PY - 2011/3/23/pubmed PY - 2012/3/8/medline SP - 80 EP - 9 JF - Brain research JO - Brain Res. VL - 1390 N2 - Early environmental enrichment (EE) produces several changes in gene expression in the brain and confers protection against the behavioral, neurochemical and molecular effects of repeated administration of drugs of abuse. Because the endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS) is known to play an important role in the rewarding effects of drugs, we investigated whether the positive effects of early exposure to EE are associated with changes in the expression of genes encoding for proteins that belong to the ECS in C57 mice. Using in situ hybridization, we compared the expression of the cannabinoid receptor CB1, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MGL) enzymes in brain regions involved in drug addiction in mice reared in either EE or standard environments (SE) from weaning until adulthood. We found that EE increases CB1 mRNA levels in the hypothalamus and in the basolateral amygdala but decreased them in the basomedial amygdala. Similarly, we found that FAAH mRNA levels are higher in the hypothalamus and the basolateral amygdala of EE mice compared to SE mice, with no change in the basomedial amygdala. In contrast, MGL mRNA levels were not affected by EE in any of the areas analyzed. The regional selectivity of EE-induced changes may indicate that early exposure to EE induces changes in the ECS that could result in reduced responses to stress, as confirmed in EE mice in a novelty-induced suppression of feeding test, and, ultimately, in resistance to addiction. SN - 1872-6240 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/21419109/abstract/Early_exposure_to_Environmental_enrichment_alters_the_expression_of_genes_of_the_endocannabinoid_system_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0006-8993(11)00522-1 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -