Neurocentre Magendie

Daniela COTA


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Médecine, Univ. Bologne, Italie (1999)
Postdoc Institut Max-Planck, Munich (20012003)
Postdoc Univ. Cincinnati, USA (2004-2007)
CR1 à l'Inserm (2008)

Oct 1999: Degree in Medicine and Surgery (M.D., Magna cum Laude), University of Bologna, Italy
May 2000: Medical license

Since January 2008: CR1 INSERM and Avenir Group Leader, Avenir Group: “Régulation de l'équilibre énergétique et obésité” (physiopathology of energy balance and obesity), NeuroCentre Magendie, Bordeaux, France
2004– 2007: Postdoctoral Fellow with Profs. R. J. Seeley and S. C. Woods, Obesity Research Center, University of Cincinnati, USA
2001–2003: Postdoctoral Fellow with Profs. G. K. Stalla and U. Pagotto, Clinical Neuroendocrinology Group, Max-Planck institute of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany
2001–2003: Medical School of Specialization in Endocrinology and Metabolic Disorders, Director Prof. Renato Pasquali, University of Bologna, Italy


56 publication(s) depuis Juin 2000:

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Les IF indiqués ont été collectés par le Web of Sciences en

2015 | handb exp pharmacol
Endocannabinoids and Metabolic Disorders.
Gatta-Cherifi B, Cota D

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is known to exert regulatory control on essentially every aspect related to the search for, and the intake, metabolism and storage of calories, and consequently it represents a potential pharmacotherapeutic target for obesity, diabetes and eating disorders. While the clinical use of the first generation of cannabinoid type 1 (CB(1)) receptor blockers has been halted due to the psychiatric side effects that their use occasioned, recent research in animals and humans has provided new knowledge on the mechanisms of actions of the ECS in the regulation of eating behavior, energy balance, and metabolism. In this review, we discuss these recent advances and how they may allow targeting the ECS in a more specific and selective manner for the future development of therapies against obesity, metabolic syndrome, and eating disorders.

The pathway of the mammalian (or mechanistic) target of rapamycin kinase (mTOR) responds to different signals such as nutrients and hormones and regulates many cellular functions as the synthesis of proteins and lipids, mitochondrial activity and the organization of the cytoskeleton. At the cellular level, mTOR forms two distinct complexes: mTORC1 and mTORC2. This review intends to summarize the various recent advances on the role of these two protein complexes in the central regulation of energy balance. mTORC1 activity modulates energy balance and metabolic responses by regulating the activity of neuronal populations, such as those located in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. Recent studies have shown that activity of the hypothalamic mTORC1 pathway varies according to cell and stimulus types, and that this signaling cascade regulates food intake and body weight in response to nutrients, such as leucine, and hormones like leptin, ghrelin and triiodothyronine. On the other hand, mTORC2 seems to be involved in the regulation of neuronal morphology and synaptic activity. However, its function in the central regulation of the energy balance is less known. Dysregulation of mTORC1 and mTORC2 is described in obesity and type 2 diabetes. Therefore, a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of energy balance by mTOR may lead to the identification of new therapeutic targets for the treatment of these metabolic pathologies.

02/12/2014 | Endocrinology   IF 4.3
Cannabinoid type 1 (CB) receptors on Sim1-expressing neurons regulate energy expenditure in male mice.
Cardinal P, Bellocchio L, Guzman-Quevedo O, Andre C, Clark S, Elie M, Leste-Lasserre T, Gonzales D, Cannich A, Marsicano G, Cota D

The paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) regulates energy balance by modulating not only food intake, but also energy expenditure and brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis. To test the hypothesis that cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor in PVN neurons might control these processes, we used the Cre/loxP system to delete CB1 from Single minded 1 (Sim1) neurons, which account for the majority of PVN neurons. On standard chow, mice lacking CB1 receptor in Sim1 neurons (Sim1-CB1-KO) had food intake, body weight, adiposity, glucose metabolism and energy expenditure comparable to wild-type (Sim1-CB1-WT) littermates. However, maintenance on a high-fat diet (HFD) revealed a gene-by-diet interaction whereby Sim1-CB1-KO mice had decreased adiposity, improved insulin sensitivity and increased energy expenditure, while feeding behavior was similar to Sim1-CB1-WT mice. Additionally, HFD-fed Sim1-CB1-KO mice had increased mRNA expression of the beta3-adrenergic receptor, as well as of UCP-1, Cox-IV and Tfam in the BAT, all molecular changes suggestive of increased thermogenesis. Pharmacological studies using beta-blockers suggested that modulation of beta-adrenergic transmission play an important role in determining energy expenditure changes observed in Sim1-CB1-KO. Finally, chemical sympathectomy abolished the obesity-resistant phenotype of Sim1-CB1-KO mice. Altogether, these findings reveal a diet-dependent dissociation in the CB1 receptor control of food intake and energy expenditure, likely mediated by the PVN, where CB1 receptors on Sim1-positive neurons do not impact food intake, but hinder energy expenditure during dietary environmental challenges that promote body weight gain.

11/2014 | Mol Cell Endocrinol   IF 3.8
Influence of mTOR in energy and metabolic homeostasis.
Haissaguerre M*, Saucisse N*, Cota D

The mechanistic (or mammalian) target of rapamycin couples a variety of different environmental signals, including nutrients and hormones, with the regulation of several energy-demanding cellular functions, spanning from protein and lipid synthesis to mitochondrial activity and cytoskeleton dynamics. mTOR forms two distinct protein complexes in cells, mTORC1 and mTORC2. This review focuses on recent advances made in understanding the roles played by these two complexes in the regulation of whole body metabolic homeostasis. Studies carried out in the past few years have shown that mTORC1 activity in the hypothalamus varies by cell and stimulus type, and that this complex is critically implicated in the regulation of food intake and body weight and in the central actions of both nutrients and hormones, such as leptin, ghrelin and triiodothyronine. As a regulator of cellular anabolic processes, mTORC1 activity in the periphery favors adipogenesis, lipogenesis, glucose uptake and beta-cell mass expansion. Much less is known about the function of mTORC2 in the hypothalamus, while in peripheral organs this second complex exerts roles strikingly similar to those described for mTORC1. Deregulation of mTORC1 and mTORC2 is associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. Insights on the exact relationship between mTORC1 and mTORC2 in the context of the regulation of metabolic homeostasis and on the specific molecular mechanisms engaged by these two complexes in such regulation may provide new avenues for therapy.

10/2014 | Mol Metab   IF 6.8
CB1 cannabinoid receptor in SF1-expressing neurons of the ventromedial hypothalamus determines metabolic responses to diet and leptin.
Cardinal P, Andre C, Quarta C, Bellocchio L, Clark S, Elie M, Leste-Lasserre T, Maitre M, Gonzales D, Cannich A, Pagotto U, Marsicano G, Cota D

Metabolic flexibility allows rapid adaptation to dietary change, however, little is known about the CNS mechanisms regulating this process. Neurons in the hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus (VMN) participate in energy balance and are the target of the metabolically relevant hormone leptin. Cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptors are expressed in VMN neurons, but the specific contribution of endocannabinoid signaling in this neuronal population to energy balance regulation is unknown. Here we demonstrate that VMN CB1 receptors regulate metabolic flexibility and actions of leptin. In chow-fed mice, conditional deletion of CB1 in VMN neurons (expressing the steroidogenic factor 1, SF1) decreases adiposity by increasing sympathetic activity and lipolysis, and facilitates metabolic effects of leptin. Conversely, under high-fat diet, lack of CB1 in VMN neurons produces leptin resistance, blunts peripheral use of lipid substrates and increases adiposity. Thus, CB1 receptors in VMN neurons provide a molecular switch adapting the organism to dietary change.

15/09/2014 | Int J Obes (Lond)   IF 4.3
The corticotrophin-releasing factor/urocortin system regulates white fat browning in mice through paracrine mechanisms.
Lu B, Diz-Chaves Y, Markovic D, Contarino A, Penicaud L, Fanelli F, Clark S, Lehnert H, Cota D, Grammatopoulos DK, Tabarin A

Objectives:The corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF)/urocortin system is expressed in the adipose tissue of mammals, but its functional role in this tissue remains unknown.Methods:Pharmacological manipulation of the activity of CRF receptors, CRF1 and CRF2, was performed in 3T3L1 white pre-adipocytes and T37i brown pre-adipocytes during in vitro differentiation. The expression of genes of the CRF/urocortin system and of markers of white and brown adipocytes was evaluated along with mitochondrial biogenesis and cellular oxygen consumption. Metabolic evaluation of corticosterone-deficient or supplemented Crhr1-null (Crhr1-/-) mice and their wild-type controls was performed along with gene expression analysis carried out in white (WAT) and brown (BAT) adipose tissues.Results:Peptides of the CRF/urocortin system and their cognate receptors were expressed in both pre-adipocyte cell lines. In vitro pharmacological studies showed an inhibition of the expression of the CRF2 pathway by the constitutive activity of the CRF1 pathway. Pharmacological activation of CRF2 and, to a lesser extent, inhibition of CRF1 signaling induced molecular and functional changes indicating transdifferentiation of white pre-adipocytes and differentiation of brown pre-adipocytes. Crhr1-/- mice showed increased expression of CRF2 and its agonist Urocortin 2 in adipocytes that was associated to brown conversion of WAT and activation of BAT. Crhr1-/- mice were resistant to diet-induced obesity and glucose intolerance. Restoring physiological circulating corticosterone levels abrogated molecular changes in adipocytes and the favorable phenotype of Crhr1-/- mice.Conclusions:Our findings suggest the importance of the CRF2 pathway in the control of adipocyte plasticity. Increased CRF2 activity in adipocytes induces browning of WAT, differentiation of BAT and is associated with a favorable metabolic phenotype in mice lacking CRF1. Circulating corticosterone represses CRF2 activity in adipocytes and may thus regulate adipocyte physiology through the modulation of the local CRF/urocortin system. Targeting CRF receptor signaling specifically in the adipose tissue may represent a novel approach to tackle obesity.International Journal of Obesity advance online publication, 14 October 2014; doi:10.1038/ijo.2014.164.


28/03/2014 | Neuroscience   IF 3.3
Cannabinoid type-1 receptors in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus inhibit stimulated food intake.
Soria-Gomez E, Massa F, Bellocchio L, Rueda-Orozco PE, Ciofi P, Cota D, Oliet SH, Prospero-Garcia O, Marsicano G

Cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1)-dependent signaling in the brain is known to modulate food intake. Recent evidence has actually shown that CB1 can both inhibit and stimulate food intake in fasting/refeeding conditions, depending on the specific neuronal circuits involved. However, the exact brain sites where this bimodal control is exerted and the underlying neurobiological mechanisms are not fully understood yet. Using pharmacological and electrophysiological approaches, we show that local CB1 blockade in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) increases fasting-induced hyperphagia in rats. Furthermore, local CB1 blockade in the PVN also increases the orexigenic effect of the gut hormone ghrelin in animals fed ad libitum. At the electrophysiological level, CB1 blockade in slices containing the PVN potentiates the decrease of the activity of PVN neurons induced by long-term application of ghrelin. Hence, the PVN is (one of) the site(s) where signals associated with the body's energy status determine the direction of the effects of endocannabinoid signaling on food intake.

25/07/2013 | Obesity (Silver Spring)   IF 3.4
Leucine supplementation modulates fuel substrates utilization and glucose metabolism in previously obese mice.
Binder E, Bermudez-Silva FJ, Elie M, Leste-Lasserre T, Belluomo I, Clark S, Duchampt A, Mithieux G, Cota D

OBJECTIVE: High-protein diets favor weight loss and its maintenance. Whether these effects might be recapitulated by certain amino acids is unknown. Therefore, the impact of leucine supplementation on energy balance and associated metabolic changes in diet-induced obese (DIO) mice during and after weight loss was investigated. DESIGN AND METHODS: DIO C57BL/6J mice were fed a normocaloric diet to induce weight loss while receiving or not the amino acid leucine in drinking water. Body weight, food intake, body composition, energy expenditure, glucose tolerance, insulin, and leptin sensitivity were evaluated. Q-PCR analysis was performed on muscle, brown and white adipose tissues. RESULTS: DIO mice decreased body weight and fat mass in response to chow, but supplementation with leucine did not affect these parameters. During weight maintenance, mice supplemented with leucine had improved glucose tolerance, increased leptin sensitivity, and lower respiratory quotient. The latter was associated with changes in the expression of several genes modulating fatty acid metabolism and mitochondrial activity in the epididymal white and the brown adipose tissues, but not muscle. CONCLUSIONS: Leucine supplementation might represent an adjuvant beneficial nutritional therapy during weight loss and maintenance, because it improves lipid and glucose metabolism and restores leptin sensitivity in previously obese animals.

19/03/2013 | Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A   IF 9.6
Activation of the sympathetic nervous system mediates hypophagic and anxiety-like effects of CB(1) receptor blockade.
Bellocchio L, Soria-Gomez E, Quarta C, Metna-Laurent M, Cardinal P, Binder E, Cannich A, Delamarre A, Haring M, Martin-Fontecha M, Vega D, Leste-Lasserre T, Bartsch D, Monory K, Lutz B, Chaouloff F, Pagotto U, Guzman M, Cota D, Marsicano G

Complex interactions between periphery and the brain regulate food intake in mammals. Cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptor antagonists are potent hypophagic agents, but the sites where this acute action is exerted and the underlying mechanisms are not fully elucidated. To dissect the mechanisms underlying the hypophagic effect of CB1 receptor blockade, we combined the acute injection of the CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant with the use of conditional CB1-knockout mice, as well as with pharmacological modulation of different central and peripheral circuits. Fasting/refeeding experiments revealed that CB1 receptor signaling in many specific brain neurons is dispensable for the acute hypophagic effects of rimonabant. CB1 receptor antagonist-induced hypophagia was fully abolished by peripheral blockade of beta-adrenergic transmission, suggesting that this effect is mediated by increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system. Consistently, we found that rimonabant increases gastrointestinal metabolism via increased peripheral beta-adrenergic receptor signaling in peripheral organs, including the gastrointestinal tract. Blockade of both visceral afferents and glutamatergic transmission in the nucleus tractus solitarii abolished rimonabant-induced hypophagia. Importantly, these mechanisms were specifically triggered by lipid-deprivation, revealing a nutrient-specific component acutely regulated by CB1 receptor blockade. Finally, peripheral blockade of sympathetic neurotransmission also blunted central effects of CB1 receptor blockade, such as fear responses and anxiety-like behaviors. These data demonstrate that, independently of their site of origin, important effects of CB1 receptor blockade are expressed via activation of peripheral sympathetic activity. Thus, CB1 receptors modulate bidirectional circuits between the periphery and the brain to regulate feeding and other behaviors.