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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The lipid messenger OEA links dietary fat intake to satiety.

  • Author(s): Schwartz, Gary J
  • Fu, Jin
  • Astarita, Giuseppe
  • Li, Xiaosong
  • Gaetani, Silvana
  • Campolongo, Patrizia
  • Cuomo, Vincenzo
  • Piomelli, Daniele
  • et al.

The association between fat consumption and obesity underscores the need to identify physiological signals that control fat intake. Previous studies have shown that feeding stimulates small-intestinal mucosal cells to produce the lipid messenger oleoylethanolamide (OEA) which, when administered as a drug, decreases meal frequency by engaging peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors-alpha (PPAR-alpha). Here, we report that duodenal infusion of fat stimulates OEA mobilization in the proximal small intestine, whereas infusion of protein or carbohydrate does not. OEA production utilizes dietary oleic acid as a substrate and is disrupted in mutant mice lacking the membrane fatty-acid transporter CD36. Targeted disruption of CD36 or PPAR-alpha abrogates the satiety response induced by fat. The results suggest that activation of small-intestinal OEA mobilization, enabled by CD36-mediated uptake of dietary oleic acid, serves as a molecular sensor linking fat ingestion to satiety.

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