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Endocrinology. 2009 Jun;150(6):2531-6. doi: 10.1210/en.2009-0046. Epub 2009 Apr 16.

Minireview: Endocannabinoids and their receptors as targets for obesity therapy.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio 45237, USA.


As the incidence of obesity continues to increase, the development of effective therapies is a high priority. The endocannabinoid system has emerged as an important influence on the regulation of energy homeostasis. The endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol act on cannabinoid receptor-1 (CB1) in the brain and many peripheral tissues causing a net anabolic action. This includes increasing food intake, and causing increased lipogenesis and fat storage in adipose tissue and liver. The endocannabinoid system is hyperactive in obese humans and animals, and treating them with CB1 antagonists causes weight loss and improved lipid and glucose profiles. Although clinical trials with CB1 antagonists have yielded beneficial metabolic effects, concerns about negative affect have limited the therapeutic potential of the first class of CB1 antagonists available.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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