We examined how feeding conditions affect the CB1 receptor and cerebral infarction caused by cerebral ischemia. Mice were divided into the following three groups: normal diet (ND), caloric restriction (CR) and high-cholesterol-enriched diet (HCD), and were kept for 6 weeks. After 6 weeks, we measured both serum and brain cholesterol and the expression level of cannabinoid CB1 receptor within the brain in intact mice. In addition, middle cerebral artery (MCA) was occluded for 2 h following reperfusion. Serum cholesterol significantly increased in the HCD group in comparison with both the ND and CR groups. However, brain cholesterol decreased in the HCD group. Then, the expression level of CB1 receptor significantly decreased in the HCD group, while that of the CR group clearly increased in comparison with the ND group in intact mice. In MCA-occluded mice, The HCD group produced the most severe cerebral infarction, while cerebral infarction was significantly decreased in the CR group. These results suggest that CR prevents infarction by increasing CB1 receptor expression, while high-cholesterol feeding aggravates cerebral infarction both by hypercholesterolemia in serum and by decreasing CB1 receptor expression modulated by hypocholesterolemia within the brain.
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