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Adicciones. 2008;20(2):171-83.

[Cannabinoid system and feeding regulation].

[Article in Spanish]

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Unidad de Psiquiatría. Fundación Hospital Alcorcón. 28922 Alcorcón (Madrid).


There is increasing evidence to suggest that the cannabinoid system is a crucial mechanism in the regulation of feeding and metabolism. It is against this background that a cannabinoid antagonist, rimonabant, is about to come onto the market for the treatment of obesity. Moreover, in addition to weight-loss effect, this drug has a beneficial effect on the so-called metabolic syndrome, with changes in the lipid and glucidic metabolism not observed for other anti-obesity drugs currently available. We present a review of current knowledge in this field and data from our own studies: genetic studies of this system in eating disorders and in obesity and studies of localization of cannabinoid receptors at sites related to feeding. These studies support a state of cannabinoid hyperactivity in obesity; furthermore, such hyperactivity can constitute a prognostic factor.

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