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Feeding Disorders and Obesity

  • Cristina Cervino
  • Valentina Vicennati
  • Renato Pasquali
  • Uberto PagottoEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences book series (CTBN, volume 1)

Abstract

The ability of the endocannabinoid (EC) 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 EC system modulates rewarding properties of food by acting at specific mesolimbic areas in the brain. In the hypothalamus, cannabinoid type 1 receptors (CB1) and ECs are integrated components of the networks controlling appetite and food intake. Interestingly, the EC 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 EC system occurs; therefore, drugs interfering with this overactivation by blocking CB1 receptors are considered valuable candidates for the treatment of obesity and related cardiometabolic risk factors.

Keywords

Adipocyte Cannabinoid type 1 receptor Endocannabinoids Hepatocyte Hypothalamus Obesity Rimonabant Taranabant 

Abbreviations

AEA

Anandamide

AMPK

5'-AMP-activated protein kinase

AN

Anorexia nervosa

2AG

2-arachidonoyl-glycerol

BED

Binge-eating disorder

BN

Bulimia nervosa

CART

Cocaine-amphetamine-related transcript

CB1

Cannabinoid receptor type 1

CRH

Corticotropin releasing hormone

GABA

Gamma-aminobutyric acid

EC

Endocannabinoid

HDL

High-density lipoprotein

HOMA-IR

Homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance

LDL

Low-density lipoprotein

MCH

Melanocortin concentrating hormone

NPY

Neuropeptide Y

PPAR

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor

PVN

Paraventricular nucleus

RIO

Rimonabant in obesity

THC

Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristina Cervino
    • 1
  • Valentina Vicennati
    • 1
  • Renato Pasquali
    • 1
  • Uberto Pagotto
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Endocrinology Unit and C.R.B.A., Department of Clinical Medicine and GastroenterologyS. Orsola-Malpighi HospitalBolognaItaly

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