Inhibitory effect of the anorexic compound oleoylethanolamide on gastric emptying in control and overweight mice

Gabriella Aviello, Isabel Matias, Raffaele Capasso, Stefania Petrosino, Francesca Borrelli, Pierangelo Orlando, Barbara Romano, Francesco Capasso, Vincenzo Di Marzo, Angelo A Izzo

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63 Citations (Scopus)


Gastric emptying regulates food intake. Oleoylethanolamide (OEA), an endogenous acylethanolamide chemically related to the endocannabinoid anandamide, inhibits food intake, but its effect on gastric emptying is unknown. Here, we investigated the effect and the role of OEA on gastric emptying in mice fed either a standard (STD) or a high-fat diet (HFD) for 14 weeks. Gastric emptying was reduced by OEA, but not by its saturated analog, palmitoylethanolamide. The effect of OEA was unaffected by rimonabant (cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist), SR144528 (cannabinoid CB2 receptor antagonist), 5'-iodoresiniferatoxin (transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 antagonist), or MK886 (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha) antagonist. Compared to STD mice, HFD mice showed delayed gastric emptying and higher levels of gastric OEA. HFD-induced increase in OEA levels was accompanied by increased expression of the OEA-synthesizing enzyme N-acyl-phosphatidylethanolamine-selective phospholipase D and decreased expression of the OEA-degrading enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase. These results might suggest that elevation of gastric OEA could possibly contribute to the delayed gastric emptying observed in HFD-fed animals. HFD regulates OEA levels in the stomach through an increase of its biosynthesis and a decrease of its enzymatic degradation. The inhibitory effect of OEA on gastric emptying here observed might underlie part of the anorexic effects of this compound previously reported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-422
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Molecular Medicine
Issue number4
Early online date16 Feb 2008
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008


  • Animals
  • Appetite Depressants
  • Cannabinoids
  • Eating
  • Endocannabinoids
  • Ethanolamines
  • Gastric Emptying
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Obese
  • Oleic Acids
  • Palmitic Acids
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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