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Br J Pharmacol. 2005 Jun;145(3):293-300.

CB1 cannabinoid receptor-mediated modulation of food intake in mice.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Box 980613, Richmond, VA 23298-0613, USA.


1 Marijuana's appetite-increasing effects have long been known. Recent research suggests that the CB(1) cannabinoid receptor antagonist SR141716A may suppress appetite. This study represents a further, systematic investigation of the role of CB(1) cannabinoid receptors in the pharmacological effects of cannabinoids on food intake. 2 Mice were food-restricted for 24 h and then allowed access to their regular rodent chow for 1 h. Whereas the CB(1) antagonist SR141716A dose-dependently decreased food consumption at doses that did not affect motor activity, Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta(9)-THC) increased food consumption at doses that had no effect on motor activity. O-3259 and O-3257, structural analogs of SR141716A, produced effects similar to those of the parent compound. 3 Amphetamine (a known anorectic) and diazepam (a benzodiazepine and CNS depressant) decreased food consumption, but only at doses that also increased or decreased motor activity, respectively. The CB(2) cannabinoid receptor antagonist SR144528 and the nonpsychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol did not affect food intake nor activity. 4 SR141716A decreased feeding in wild-type mice, but lacked pharmacological activity in CB(1) knockout mice; however, basal food intake was lower in CB(1) knockout mice. Amphetamine decreased feeding in both mouse genotypes. 5 These results suggest that SR141716A may affect the actions of endogenous cannabinoids in regulating appetite or that it may have effects of its own aside from antagonism of cannabinoid effects (e.g., decreased feeding behavior and locomotor stimulation). In either case, these results strongly suggest that CB(1) receptors may play a role in regulation of feeding behavior.

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