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L’Endocrinologo

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 9–18 | Cite as

Il sistema endocannabinoide e l’obesità: prospettive terapeutiche

  • Uberto Pagotto
  • Cristina Cervino
  • Luigi Bellocchio
  • Valentina Vicennati
  • Renato Pasquali
Article
  • 36 Downloads

Riassunto

La crescita esponenziale dell’obesità se da un lato ha prodotto un vistoso allarme socio-sanitario, dall’altro, ha dato un vigoroso impulso allo studio dei meccanismi patogenetici che portano al suo sviluppo e mantenimento. Dal 1994, anno della scoperta di leptina, una straordinaria serie di acquisizioni ha cominciato a far luce sui meccanismi che controllano l’introito alimentare e l’omeostasi energetica. Si è così evidenziato come l’ipotalamo elabori i segnali riguardo lo stato nutritivo come percepito dalla periferia e come da quest’area cerebrale vengano a loro volta dirottati agli organi periferici impulsi volti ad orientare il comportamento alimentare. Tra gli attori di tale comunicazione centro-periferia il sistema cannabinoide endogeno si è posto recentemente alla ribalta per la capacità inusuale di agire ad entrambi i livelli, sia centralmente che in periferia. In questo articolo descriveremo il ruolo del sistema endocannabinoide nel controllo del bilancio energetico, valutando le sue implicazioni nella regolazione delle proprietà gratificanti del cibo, nella modulazione dei circuiti ipotalamici coinvolti nell’assunzione di cibo e nel controllo di importanti steps del metabolismo periferico. Inoltre, cercheremo di fornire solidità scientifica alla teoria che propone tra le cause predisponenti dell’obesità la sovrastimolazione patologica del sistema endocannabinoide. Infine, commenteremo le recenti sperimentazioni nell’uomo per il trattamento dell’obesità e delle sue complicanze metaboliche di una nuova classe di farmaci ad azione bloccante il recettore di tipo 1 dei cannabinoidi, una nuova frontiera nel trattamento di questa temibile patologia.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Uberto Pagotto
    • 1
  • Cristina Cervino
    • 1
  • Luigi Bellocchio
    • 1
  • Valentina Vicennati
    • 1
  • Renato Pasquali
    • 1
  1. 1.Unità Operativa di Endocrinologia, Dipartimento di Medicina Interna e Gastroenterologia e Centro di Ricerca Biomedica Applicata (C.R.B.A.), Ospedale S. Orsola-Malpighi, Alma Mater StudiorumUniversità di BolognaBolognaItalia

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