Immunohistochemical analysis of cannabinoid receptor 1 expression in steatotic rat livers.

“The primary aim of the present study was to determine the expression levels of cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) in steatotic rat livers. ┬áThe secondary aim was to clarify whether steatosis and inflammation are more marked in areas with increased CB1 overexpression.

The expression of CB1 and the number of cells overexpressing CB1 were determined. Steatosis was scored according to the Dixon scoring system.

CB1 overexpression and steatosis were detected in hepatocytes from all 38 livers sampled. The expression of CB1 was more marked in hepatocytes localized next to portal triads. Near the central veins, the expression was significantly weaker. Steatosis was more marked in areas of increased CB1 overexpression. Lymphocyte infiltration was more commonly observed in areas of increased CB1 overexpression.

Therefore, the present results indicate that CB1 receptors are overexpressed in areas with steatosis, and indicate that CB1 in hepatocytes contributes to the formation of steatosis in rats, even prior to its progression to steatohepatitis.

These results are consistent with publications reporting that CB1 in hepatocytes increases lipogenesis and contributes to inflammation.”

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