Cannabinoid receptors as therapeutic targets for obesity and metabolic diseases

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One of the most interesting pharmacological targets proposed in the past ten years for fighting obesity and related metabolic disorders is the endocannabinoid system. The role of the endocannabinoid system is crucial in regulating the rewarding properties of food, in controlling energy balance by acting at the hypothalamic circuitries involved in food intake, and in peripheral metabolism by influencing adipocytes, hepatocytes, myocytes and pancreatic endocrine cells. Obesity seems to be a condition associated with a pathological overactivation of the endocannabinoid system; therefore, restoring a normal endocannabinoid tone by antagonizing the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) could help arrest both the development and the maintenance of obesity.

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