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During lactation and parturition, magnocellular oxytocin (OT) neurons display a characteristic bursting electrical activity responsible for pulsatile OT release. We investigated this activity using hypothalamic organotypic slice cultures enriched in magnocellular OT neurons. As shown here, the neurons are functional and actively secrete amidated OT into the(More)
Pregnenolone is considered the inactive precursor of all steroid hormones, and its potential functional effects have been largely uninvestigated. The administration of the main active principle of Cannabis sativa (marijuana), Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), substantially increases the synthesis of pregnenolone in the brain via activation of the type-1(More)
Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) regulates many pathophysiological processes in the central nervous system, including pain perception, convulsions and neurotoxicity, and increasing evidence points to its neuroprotective action. In the present study, we report that PEA, acting as a ligand of peroxisome-proliferator activated receptor (PPAR)-α, might regulate(More)
Polysialic acid (PSA) on the extracellular domain of the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) reduces cell adhesion and is considered an important regulator of cell surface interactions. The hypothalamo-neurohypophysial system (HNS), whose glia, neurons, and synapses undergo striking, reversible morphological changes in response to physiological(More)
Brain immunomodulation may be lateralized as evidenced by two experimental approaches. Using a behavioral paradigm, we have reported an association between asymmetrical brain function and lymphocyte reactivity in mice selected for right- and left-paw preference. Left-handed mice, in comparison to right-handers, exhibit higher mitogen-induced T-lymphocyte(More)
We investigated the involvement of de novo neurosteroid synthesis in the mechanisms underlying the analgesic and antihyperalgesic effects of N-palmitoylethanolamine (PEA) in two models of acute and persistent pain, the formalin test and carrageenan-induced paw edema. The pivotal role of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-α in the(More)
Palmitoylethanolamde (PEA) is an endogenous lipid neuromodulator that mediates a broad spectrum of pharmacological effects by activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR-alpha). Detectable or high levels of PEA in the CNS have been found, but the specific function of this lipid remains to be clarified. Here we report evidence that(More)
BACKGROUND Sleep and cognitive impairments are two of the most prevalent neuropsychiatric disorders in the aged population. Age-related memory dysfunctions can result from alterations in sleep/wake circadian rhythm. However, the underlying mechanism of these alterations is unknown. Here, we demonstrate the role of alterations in brain steroid levels in(More)
There is evidence for bidirectional communication between the brain and the immune system. The immune system is subjected to neuroendocrine influences and reciprocally the hypothalamopituitary-adrenal axis is modulated by immune signals. Lipopolysaccharides (LPS), used to mimic infectious/inflammatory diseases, induce a series of stress markers, including(More)
An association between handedness and immune disorders has been described in man, left-handers being more susceptible to autoimmune or allergic diseases. However, this correlation was established between handedness and clinical signs of immune disorders without studying immune functions. Using an animal model, we demonstrated for the first time an(More)