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Papers of the Week

2022 Feb 11


PEA-OXA ameliorates allodynia, neuropsychiatric and adipose tissue remodeling induced by social isolation.


Belardo C, Alessio N, Pagano M, De Dominicis E, Infantino R, Perrone M, Iannotta M, Galderisi U, Rinaldi B, Scuteri D, Bagetta G, Palazzo E, Maione S, Luongo L
Neuropharmacology. 2022 Feb 11:108978.
PMID: 35157898.


Chronic social isolation generates a persistent state of stress associated with obesity along with some neuro-endocrine disorders and central behavioral sequelae (eg anxiety, depression, aggression, and allodynia). In this study, we evaluated the effect of social isolation on body weight, depressive- and anxious-aggressive-like behavior, as well as on phenotypic changes of adipocytes from visceral adipose tissue of control (group-housed) or socially isolated (single-housed) male mice. The effect of treatment with pentadecyl-2-oxazoline (PEA-OXA), a natural alpha2 antagonist and histamine H3 protean partial agonist, on these alterations was also evaluated. Single or group-housed mice treated with vehicle or PEA-OXA underwent body weight, mechanical allodynia, anxious-, depressive- and aggressive-like behavior measurements. Proliferation rate, apoptosis, senescence, expression of fat lineage genes, lipid droples and proinflammatory cytokines were measured on white adipose tissue adipocytes from group- or single-housed mice. Single housed mice developed weight gain, mechanical allodynia at the von Frey test, aggressiveness in the resident intruder test, depression- and anxiety-like behavior in the tail suspension and hole drop tests, respectively. Single housed mice receiving PEA-OXA showed a general resolution of both, physical-metabolic and behavioral alterations associated with social isolation. Furthermore, adipocytes from the adipose tissue of socially isolated mice showed an evident inflamed phenotype (i.e. a reduced rate of proliferation, apoptosis, senescence, and ROS hyper-production together with an increased expression of IL-1β, IL-10, IL-17, and TNF-α and a decrease of IL-6). The treatment with PEA-OXA on adipocytes from single housed mice produced a protective/anti-inflammatory phenotype with an increased expression of brown adipose tissue biomarker. This study confirms that persistent stress caused by social isolation predisposes to obesity and neuropsychiatric disorders. PEA-OXA, through its multi-target activity on alpha2 adrenoceptor and histamine H3 receptors, which have recently aroused great interest in the neuropsychiatric field, reduces weight gain, systemic pro-inflammatory state, allodynia, and affective disorders associated with social isolation.