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Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 116, Issue 3, pp 301–305

First Online: 10 January 2009Received: 02 July 2008Accepted: 30 November 2008


This study investigated the role of two fatty acid ethanolamides, the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide and its structural analog oleoylethanolamide in sleep deprivation of human volunteers. Serum and cerebrospinal fluid CSF samples were obtained from 20 healthy volunteers before and after a night of sleep deprivation with an interval of about 12 months. We found increased levels of oleoylethanolamide in CSF P = 0.011 but not in serum P = 0.068 after 24 h of sleep deprivation. Oleoylethanolamide is an endogenous lipid messenger that is released after neural injury and activates peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α PPAR-α with nanomolar potency. Exogenous PPAR-α agonists, such as hypolipidemic fibrates and oleoylethanolamide, exert both neuroprotective and neurotrophic effects. Thus, our results suggest that oleoylethanolamide release may represent an endogenous neuroprotective signal during sleep deprivation.

KeywordsOleoylethanolamide Endocannabinoids PPAR-α Sleep deprivation Neuroprotection Oxidative stress D. Koethe, D. Schreiber and A. Giuffrida contributed equally to this study.

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Autor: Dagmar Koethe - Daniela Schreiber - Andrea Giuffrida - Christian Mauss - Johannes Faulhaber - Bernd Heydenreich - Martin He


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