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G Ital Cardiol (Rome). 2008 Apr;9(4 Suppl 1):74S-82S.

[Endocannabinoid system and energy metabolism: physiology and pathophysiology].

[Article in Italian]

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UO di Endocrinologia e Centro di Ricerca Biomedica Applicata (CRBA), Dipartimento di Medicina Interna e Gastroenterologia, Policlinico S. Orsola-Malpighi, Università Alma Mater Studiorum, Bologna.


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

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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