Glucose metabolism links astroglial mitochondria to cannabinoid effects

Daniel Jimenez-Blasco, Arnau Busquets-Garcia, Etienne Hebert-Chatelain, Roman Serrat, Carlos Vicente-Gutierrez, Christina Ioannidou, Paula Gómez-Sotres, Irene Lopez-Fabuel, Monica Resch-Beusher, Eva Resel, Dorian Arnouil, Dave Saraswat, Marjorie Varilh, Astrid Cannich, Francisca Julio-Kalajzic, Itziar Bonilla-Del Río, Angeles Almeida, Nagore Puente, Svein Achicallende, Maria-Luz Lopez-Rodriguez, Charlotte Jollé, Nicole Déglon, Luc Pellerin, Charlène Josephine, Gilles Bonvento, Aude Panatier, Beat Lutz, Pier-Vincenzo Piazza, Manuel Guzmán, Luigi Bellocchio, Anne-Karine Bouzier-Sore, Pedro Grandes, Juan P. Bolaños, Giovanni Marsicano
Nature. 2020-07-08; :
DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-2470-y

Astrocytes take up glucose from the bloodstream to provide energy to the brain, thereby allowing neuronal activity and behavioural responses. By contrast, astrocytes are under neuronal control through specific neurotransmitter receptors. However, whether the activation of astroglial receptors can directly regulate cellular glucose metabolism to eventually modulate behavioural responses is unclear. Here we show that activation of mouse astroglial type-1 cannabinoid receptors associated with mitochondrial membranes (mtCB1) hampers the metabolism of glucose and the production of lactate in the brain, resulting in altered neuronal functions and, in turn, impaired behavioural responses in social interaction assays. Specifically, activation of astroglial mtCB1 receptors reduces the phosphorylation of the mitochondrial complex I subunit NDUFS4, which decreases the stability and activity of complex I. This leads to a reduction in the generation of reactive oxygen species by astrocytes and affects the glycolytic production of lactate through the hypoxia-inducible factor 1 pathway, eventually resulting in neuronal redox stress and impairment of behavioural responses in social interaction assays. Genetic and pharmacological correction of each of these effects abolishes the effect of cannabinoid treatment on the observed behaviour. These findings suggest that mtCB1 receptor signalling can directly regulate astroglial glucose metabolism to fine-tune neuronal activity and behaviour in mice.

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