BACKGROUND: There is compelling evidence in humans that peripheral endocannabinoid signaling is disrupted in obesity. However, little is known about the corresponding central signaling. Here, we have investigated the relationship between gender, leptin, body mass index (BMI) and levels of the endocannabinoids anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in the serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of primarily overweight to obese patients with osteoarthritis.<br /><br />METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Patients (20 females, 15 males, age range 44-78 years, BMI range 24-42) undergoing total knee arthroplasty for end-stage osteoarthritis were recruited for the study. Endocannabinoids were quantified by liquid chromatography - mass spectrometry. AEA and 2-AG levels in the serum and CSF did not correlate with either age or BMI. However, 2-AG levels in the CSF, but not serum, correlated negatively with CSF leptin levels (Spearman's ρ -0.48, P=0.0076, n=30). No such correlations were observed for AEA and leptin.<br /><br />CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: In the patient sample investigated, there is a negative association between 2-AG and leptin levels in the CSF. This is consistent with pre-clinical studies in animals, demonstrating that leptin controls the levels of hypothalamic endocannabinoids that regulate feeding behavior.
Nicholson, J., Azim, S., Rebecchi, M. J., Galbavy, W., Feng, T., Reinsel, R., … Kaczocha, M. (2015). Leptin levels are negatively correlated with 2-arachidonoylglycerol in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with osteoarthritis. PLoS ONE, 10(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0123132