Targeted enhancement of oleoylethanolamide production in proximal small intestine induces across-meal satiety in rats

Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2008 Jul;295(1):R45-50. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00126.2008. Epub 2008 Apr 23.


Pharmacological administration of the natural lipid amide, oleoylethanolamide (OEA), inhibits food intake in free-feeding rodents by prolonging latency to feed and postmeal interval. This anorexic effect is mediated by activation of type-alpha peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR-alpha). Food intake stimulates mucosal cells in duodenum and jejunum to generate OEA, suggesting that this lipid-derived messenger may act as a local satiety hormone. As a test of this hypothesis, here, we examined whether targeted enhancement of OEA production in the small intestine affects feeding behavior in rats. We constructed an adenoviral vector (Ad-NPLD) that directs overexpression of the enzyme N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine (NAPE)-phospholipase D (PLD), which catalyzes the hydrolysis of NAPE to generate OEA. Intraduodenal injection of the Ad-NPLD vector resulted in a time-dependent increase in NAPE-PLD expression and OEA production, which was restricted to the proximal small intestine. No such effect was observed after administration of a control adenoviral vector. Enhanced OEA production in Ad-NPLD-injected animals was temporally associated with increased expression of two PPAR-alpha target genes (PPAR-alpha and CD36) and with decreased food intake. The hypophagic phenotype of Ad-NPLD-injected rats was attributable to increase feeding latency and postmeal interval, rather than decreased meal size. The results suggest that localized changes in OEA production in the small intestine, such as those produced by food intake, are sufficient to induce in rats a state of across-meal satiety similar to that elicited by systemic administration of exogenous OEA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endocannabinoids
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Targeting
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Intestine, Small / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Oleic Acids / biosynthesis*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Satiety Response / physiology*


  • Endocannabinoids
  • Oleic Acids
  • oleoylethanolamide