“Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a serious psychiatric condition characterized by excessive body weight loss and disturbed perceptions of body shape and size, often associated with excessive physical activity. There is currently no effective drug-related therapy of this disease and this leads to high relapse rate.
Clinical data suggest that a promising therapy to treat and reduce reoccurrence of AN may be based on the use of drugs that target the endocannabinoid (EC) system, which appears dysregulated in AN patients.
Our data show that subchronic treatment with both the CB1/CB2 receptor natural agonist Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and the synthetic CB1/CB2 receptor agonist CP-55,940 significantly reduced body weight loss and running wheel activity in ABA rats. These behavioral effects were accompanied by an increase in leptin signaling and a decrease in plasma levels of corticosterone.
Taken together, our results further demonstrate EC system involvement in AN pathophysiology and that strategies which modulate EC signaling are useful to treat this disorder, specifically in patients where physical hyperactivity plays a central role in its progression and maintenance.”
“Weight gain is an important side effect of most atypical antipsychotic drugs such as olanzapine. Moreover, although many animal models with metabolic side effects have been well defined, the interaction with other pathways has to be considered.
The endocannabinoid system and the CB1 receptor (CB1R) are among the most promising central and peripheral targets involved in weight and energy balance.
In this study we developed a rat model based 15-days treatment with olanzapine that shows weight gain and an alteration of the blood parameters involved in the regulation of energy balance and glucose metabolism. Consequently, we analysed whether, and by which mechanism, a co-treatment with the novel CB1R neutral antagonist NESS06SM, could attenuate the adverse metabolic effects of olanzapine compared to the reference CB1R inverse agonist rimonabant.
Our results showed alterations of the cannabinoid markers in the nucleus accumbens and of orexigenic/anorexigenic markers in the hypothalamus of female rats treated with olanzapine. These molecular modifications could explain the excessive food intake and the resulting weight gain. Moreover, we confirmed that a co-treatment with CB1R antagonist/inverse agonist compounds decreased food intake and weight increment and restored all blood parameters, without altering the positive effects of olanzapine on behaviour. Furthermore, rimonabant and NESS06SM restored the metabolic enzymes in the liver and fat tissue altered by olanzapine.
Therefore, CB1 receptor antagonist/inverse agonist compounds could be good candidate agents for the treatment of weight gain induced by olanzapine.”
“The herb Cannabis sativa (C. sativa) has been used in China and on the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years as a medicine.
However, since it was brought to the UK and then the rest of the western world in the late 19th century, its use has been a source of controversy. Indeed, its psychotropic side effects are well reported but only relatively recently has scientific endeavour begun to find valuable uses for either the whole plant or its individual components.
Here, we discuss evidence describing the endocannabinoid system, its endogenous and exogenous ligands and their varied effects on feeding cycles and meal patterns.
Furthermore we also critically consider the mounting evidence which suggests non-Δ(9) tetrahydrocannabinol phytocannabinoids play a vital role in C. sativa-induced feeding pattern changes.
Indeed, given the wide range of phytocannabinoids present in C. sativa and their equally wide range of intra-, inter- and extra-cellular mechanisms of action, we demonstrate that non-Δ(9) tetrahydrocannabinol phytocannabinoids retain an important and, as yet, untapped clinical potential.”