Increased 2-arachidonoyl-sn-glycerol levels normalize cortical responses to sound and improve behaviors in Fmr1 KO mice

Posted on 14.10.2021 - 03:27
Abstract Background Individuals with Fragile X syndrome (FXS) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exhibit an array of symptoms, including sociability deficits, increased anxiety, hyperactivity, and sensory hyperexcitability. It is unclear how endocannabinoid (eCB) modulation can be targeted to alleviate neurophysiological abnormalities in FXS as behavioral research reveals benefits to inhibiting cannabinoid (CB) receptor activation and increasing endocannabinoid ligand levels. Here, we hypothesize that enhancement of 2-arachidonoyl-sn-glycerol (2-AG) in Fragile X mental retardation 1 gene knock-out (Fmr1 KO) mice may reduce cortical hyperexcitability and behavioral abnormalities observed in FXS. Methods To test whether an increase in 2-AG levels normalized cortical responses in a mouse model of FXS, animals were subjected to electroencephalography (EEG) recording and behavioral assessment following treatment with JZL-184, an irreversible inhibitor of monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL). Assessment of 2-AG was performed using lipidomic analysis in conjunction with various doses and time points post-administration of JZL-184. Baseline electrocortical activity and evoked responses to sound stimuli were measured using a 30-channel multielectrode array (MEA) in adult male mice before, 4 h, and 1 day post-intraperitoneal injection of JZL-184 or vehicle. Behavior assessment was done using the open field and elevated plus maze 4 h post-treatment. Results Lipidomic analysis showed that 8 mg/kg JZL-184 significantly increased the levels of 2-AG in the auditory cortex of both Fmr1 KO and WT mice 4 h post-treatment compared to vehicle controls. EEG recordings revealed a reduction in the abnormally enhanced baseline gamma-band power in Fmr1 KO mice and significantly improved evoked synchronization to auditory stimuli in the gamma-band range post-JZL-184 treatment. JZL-184 treatment also ameliorated anxiety-like and hyperactivity phenotypes in Fmr1 KO mice. Conclusions Overall, these results indicate that increasing 2-AG levels may serve as a potential therapeutic approach to normalize cortical responses and improve behavioral outcomes in FXS and possibly other ASDs.


Pirbhoy, Patricia S.; Jonak, Carrie R.; Syed, Rashid; Argueta, Donovan A.; Perez, Pedro A.; Wiley, Mark B.; et al. (2021): Increased 2-arachidonoyl-sn-glycerol levels normalize cortical responses to sound and improve behaviors in Fmr1 KO mice. figshare. Collection.
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Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders


Patricia S. Pirbhoy
Carrie R. Jonak
Rashid Syed
Donovan A. Argueta
Pedro A. Perez
Mark B. Wiley
Keon Hessamian
Jonathan W. Lovelace
Khaleel A. Razak
Nicholas V. DiPatrizio
Iryna M. Ethell
Devin K. Binder
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