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Neuropharmacology. 2008 Jan;54(1):219-25. Epub 2007 Jun 22.

Pretreatment with subeffective doses of Rimonabant attenuates orexigenic actions of orexin A-hypocretin 1.

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  • 1Departamento de Psicobiología, Facultad de Psicología, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Campus de Somosaguas E-28223 Madrid, Spain.


Recent studies suggest that blockade of cannabinoid CB1 receptors suppresses feeding, an effect observed in humans treated with the cannabinoid CB1 antagonist Rimonabant. A cross-talk between cannabinoids and other systems controlling appetite might exist since cannabinoid receptors are present in hypothalamic neural circuits involved in feeding regulation and energy expenditure. Orexin A-hypocretin 1, an orexigenic peptide, is an ideal candidate to interact with cannabinoid receptors. Both of them play an important role in feeding and they co-localize in similar brain regions. To study this hypothesis we investigated (a) the effects on food intake of either orexin A-hypocretin 1 or the cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist Rimonabant in pre-fed rats, and (b) the interaction between them by monitoring the effects of the combined administration of cannabinoids and orexin A-hypocretin 1 in pre-fed rats. The results show that (1) orexin A-hypocretin 1 is a short-term modulator of appetite that increases food intake in pre-fed rats, (2) Rimonabant decreases food intake and (3) such effective and subeffective doses of Rimonabant block the orexigenic effect of orexin A-hypocretin 1. The results support the idea that cannabinoid and orexin A-hypocretin 1 systems share a common mechanism in food intake and indicate that the hypothalamic orexigenic circuits are involved in cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonism-mediated reduction of appetite.

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