The endocannabinoid system : a new target for the regulation of energy balance and metabolism.

Abstract

“Recent studies have provided evidence that the endocannabinoid (EC) system has very significant effects on energy balance and metabolism through the central control of appetite and by affecting peripheral metabolism. Endocannabinoids are endogenous phospholipid derivatives which bind and activate cannabinoid receptors type 1 and type 2 (CB1 and CB2 receptors). The CB1 receptor, a G-protein coupled receptor, is believed to be responsible for the majority of the central effects of endocannaboids on appetite. Chronic positive energy balance and obesity have been associated with an overactivation of the endocannaboid system which has been suggested to contribute to the development of abdominal obesity and to associated metabolic abnormalities which increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Animal studies had shown that stimulation of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor with endocannaboids such as anandamide could induce first an increase in food intake leading to body weight gain. Furthermore, an exciting development in this field has been the discovery of CB1 receptors in many peripheral tissues, including key organs involved in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism such as the adipose tissue and liver. Thus, blocking CB1 receptors located in the liver and adipose tissue could have an additional impact on the metabolic risk profile beyond what could be explained by the reduction in food intake and the related body weight loss. Preclinical studies have shown that rimonabant, the first CB1-receptor blocker to be available in clinical practice, could not only induce a reduction in food intake, but could also produce body weight loss beyond what could be explained by its effect on food intake. Thus, the evidence from preclinical studies have suggested that CB1 blockade could represent a relevant approach to reduce food intake, to induce body weight loss, and, most importantly, to “fix” the dysmetabolic state of viscerally obese patients at increased cardiometabolic risk.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17667864

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[Endocannabinoid system and energy metabolism: physiology and pathophysiology].

Abstract

“The ability of the endocannabinoid system to control appetite, food intake and energy balance has recently received great attention, particularly in the light of the different modes of action underlying these functions. The endocannabinoid system modulates rewarding properties of food by acting at specific mesolimbic areas in the brain. In the hypothalamus, CB1 receptor and endocannabinoids are integrated components of the networks controlling appetite and food intake. Interestingly, the endocannabinoid system has recently been shown to control several metabolic functions by acting on peripheral tissues, such as adipocytes, hepatocytes, the skeletal muscles and the endocrine pancreas. The relevance of the system is further strengthened by the notion that visceral obesity seems to be a condition in which an overactivation of the endocannabinoid system occurs, therefore drugs interfering with this overactivation by blocking CB1 receptor are considered as valuable candidates for the treatment of obesity and related cardiometabolic risk factors.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18773754

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How many sites of action for endocannabinoids to control energy metabolism?

Abstract

“The promising results obtained by clinical trials using Rimonabant to tackle visceral obesity and related disorders recently promoted a remarkable impulse to carry out detailed investigations into the mechanisms of action of endocannabinoids in regulating food intake and energy metabolism. The endocannabinoid system has been known for many years to play an important role in the modulation of the neuronal pathways mediating the rewarding properties of food. However, in the last few years, with the advanced understanding of the crucial role of the hypothalamic neuronal network in the regulation of appetite, several studies have also directed attention to the orexigenic role of the endocannabinoid system, substantiating the well known appetite stimulating properties of derivatives of Cannabis sativa. Furthermore, the last 2 years have seen a number of relevant publications emphasizing the role of endocannabinoids as significant players in various peripheral metabolic processes. To date, the roles of the endocannabinoid system in influencing energy metabolism have proved to be more complex than was formerly believed. However, the diverse ability to modulate both central and peripheral processes highlights the pivotal involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the control of metabolic processes. This review describes the roles of endocannabinoids and the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1) in the control of energy balance.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16570104

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