Published on Thu Aug 19 2021

Cannabinoid signaling modulation through JZL184 restores key phenotypes of a mouse model for Williams-Beuren syndrome

Navarro-Romero, A., Galera-Lopez, L., Ortiz-Romero, P., Llorente-Ovejero, A., de los Reyes-Ramirez, L., Mas-Stachurska, A., Reixachs-Sole, M., Pastor, A., de la Torre, R., Maldonado, R., Benito, B., Eyras, E., Rodriguez-Puertas, R., Campuzano, V., Ozaita, A.

Williams-Beuren syndrome (WBS) is a rare genetic multisystemic disorder. It is characterized by mild to moderate intellectual disability and hypersocial phenotype. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) could be a potential druggable target in this syndrome.

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Abstract

Williams-Beuren syndrome (WBS) is a rare genetic multisystemic disorder characterized by mild to moderate intellectual disability and hypersocial phenotype, while the most life-threatening features are cardiovascular abnormalities. Nowadays, there are no available treatments to ameliorate the main traits of WBS. The endocannabinoid system (ECS), given its relevance for both cognitive and cardiovascular function, could be a potential druggable target in this syndrome. We analyzed the components of the ECS in the complete deletion (CD) mouse model of WBS and assessed the impact of its pharmacological modulation in key phenotypes relevant for WBS. CD mice showed the characteristic hypersociable phenotype with no preference for social novelty and poor object-recognition performance. Brain cannabinoid type-1 receptor (CB1R) in CD male mice showed alterations in density and coupling with no detectable change in main endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoid signaling modulation with sub-chronic (10 d) JZL184, a selective inhibitor of monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), specifically normalized the social and cognitive phenotype of CD mice. Notably, JZL184 treatment improved cardiac function and restored gene expression patterns in cardiac tissue. These results reveal the modulation of the ECS as a promising novel therapeutic approach to improve key phenotypic alterations in WBS.