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Mol Pharmacol. 2006 Feb;69(2):471-8. Epub 2005 Nov 9.

The cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant (SR141716) inhibits cell proliferation and increases markers of adipocyte maturation in cultured mouse 3T3 F442A preadipocytes.

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CNS Research Department, Sanofi-Aventis Research, Montpellier, France.


Adipocyte cell proliferation is an important process in body fat mass development in obesity. Adiponectin or Acrp30 is an adipocytokine exclusively expressed and secreted by adipose tissue that regulates lipid and glucose metabolism and plays a key role in body weight regulation and homeostasis. Adiponectin mRNA expression in adipose tissue and plasma level of adiponectin are decreased in obesity and type 2 diabetes. In obese rodents, the selective CB(1) receptor antagonist rimonabant reduces food intake and body weight and improves lipid and glucose parameters. We have reported previously that rimonabant stimulated adiponectin mRNA expression in adipose tissue of obese fa/fa rats, by a direct effect on adipocytes. We report here that rimonabant (10-400 nM) inhibits cell proliferation of cultured mouse 3T3 F442A preadipocytes in a concentration-dependent manner. In parallel to this inhibitory effect on preadipocyte cell proliferation, rimonabant (25-100 nM) stimulates mRNA expression and protein levels of two late markers of adipocyte differentiation (adiponectin and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase) with a maximal effect at 100 nM, without inducing the accumulation of lipid droplets. Furthermore, treatment of mouse 3T3 F442A preadipocytes with rimonabant (100 nM) inhibits basal and serum-induced p42/44 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase activity. These results suggest that inhibition of MAP kinase activity by rimonabant may be one of mechanisms involved in the inhibition of 3T3 F442A preadipocyte cell proliferation and stimulation of adiponectin and GAPDH expression. The inhibition of preadipocyte cell proliferation and the induction of adipocyte late "maturation" may participate in rimonabant-induced antiobesity effects, particularly the reduction of body fat mass.

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