Role of the satiety factor oleoylethanolamide in alcoholism

Ainhoa Bilbao, Antonia Serrano, Andrea Cippitelli, Francisco J. Pavón, Andrea Giuffrida, Juan Suárez, Nuria García-Marchena, Elena Baixeras, Raquel Gómez de Heras, Laura Orio, Francisco Alén, Roberto Ciccocioppo, Benjamin F. Cravatt, Loren H. Parsons, Daniele Piomelli, Fernando Rodríguez de Fonseca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Oleoylethanolamide (OEA) is a satiety factor that controls motivational responses to dietary fat. Here we show that alcohol administration causes the release of OEA in rodents, which in turn reduces alcohol consumption by engaging peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha (PPAR-α). This effect appears to rely on peripheral signaling mechanisms as alcohol self-administration is unaltered by intracerebral PPAR-α agonist administration, and the lesion of sensory afferent fibers (by capsaicin) abrogates the effect of systemically administered OEA on alcohol intake. Additionally, OEA is shown to block cue-induced reinstatement of alcohol-seeking behavior (an animal model of relapse) and reduce the severity of somatic withdrawal symptoms in alcohol-dependent animals. Collectively, these findings demonstrate a homeostatic role for OEA signaling in the behavioral effects of alcohol exposure and highlight OEA as a novel therapeutic target for alcohol use disorders and alcoholism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)859-872
Number of pages14
JournalAddiction Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Alcohol self-administration
  • PPAR-α
  • alcoholism
  • oleoylethanolamide
  • relapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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