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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2011 Jan;97(3):537-43. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2010.10.013. Epub 2010 Nov 4.

The neutral cannabinoid CB₁ receptor antagonist AM4113 regulates body weight through changes in energy intake in the rat.

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Hotchkiss Brain Institute and Snyder Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


The aim of this study was to determine if the neutral cannabinoid CB₁ receptor antagonist, AM4113, regulates body weight in the rat via changes in food intake. We confirmed that the AM4113-induced reduction in food intake is mediated by CB₁ receptors using CB₁ receptor knockout mice. In rats, intraperitoneally administered AM4113 (2, 10 mg kg⁻¹) had a transient inhibitory effect on food intake, while body weight gain was suppressed for the duration of the study. AM4113-induced hypophagia was no longer observed once the inhibitory effect of AM4113 on body weight stabilized, at which time rats gained weight at a similar rate to vehicle-treated animals, yet at a lower magnitude. Pair-feeding produced similar effects to treatment with AM4113. Food intake and body weight gain were also inhibited in rats by oral administration of AM4113 (50 mg kg⁻¹). Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) was used to measure lean and fat mass. The AM4113 treated group had 29.3±11.4% lower fat mass than vehicle-treated rats; this trend did not reach statistical significance. There were no differences in circulating levels of the endogenous cannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), glucose, triglycerides, or cholesterol observed between treatment groups. Similarly, 2-AG hypothalamic levels were not modified by AM4113 treatment. These data suggest that blockade of an endocannabinoid tone acting at CB₁ receptors induces an initial, transient reduction in food intake which results in long-term reduction of body weight gain.

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