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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Mar;19(3):505-13. doi: 10.1038/oby.2010.213. Epub 2010 Sep 30.

Effect of the cannabinoid receptor-1 antagonist rimonabant on inflammation in mice with diet-induced obesity.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Section of Cardiovascular Research, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.


We studied whether cannabinoid receptor (CB1) blockade with rimonabant has an anti-inflammatory effect in obese mice, and whether this effect depends on weight loss and/or diet consumption. High-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mice were treated orally with rimonabant (HFD-R) or vehicle (HFD-V) for 4 weeks. Paired-feeding was conducted in two additional groups of obese mice to achieve either the same body weight (HFD-BW) or the same HFD intake (HFD DI) as HFD-R. All these groups of mice were maintained on HFD throughout, with mice on normal diet (ND) throughout as lean controls. Rimonabant treatment of obese mice induced marked diet-intake reduction and weight loss during the first week, which was followed by maintenance of low body weight but not diet-intake reduction. Lower HFD intake was required to reach the same degree of weight loss in HFD-BW. HFD-DI had similar weight loss initially, but then started to gain weight, reaching a higher body weight than HFD-R. Despite the same degree of weight loss, HFD-R had less fat mass and lower adipogenic gene expression than HFD-BW. Compared to HFD-V or HFD-DI, HFD-R had reduced inflammation in adipose tissue (AT) and/or liver indicated primarily by lower monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) levels. However, MCP-1 levels were not significantly different between HFD-R and HFD-BW. In vitro incubation of rimonabant with AT explants did not change MCP-1 levels. Thus, rimonabant induced weight loss in obese mice by diet-intake-dependent and -independent fashions. Rimonabant decreased inflammation in obese mice, possibly through a primary effect on weight reduction.

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