Energy Metabolism and Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

Many various regulatory actions have been imputed to endocannabinoids, and their responsibility in several pathophysiological situations is under intense scrutiny. Cannabinoid receptors [cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and CB2] participate in the physiological modulation of many central and peripheral functions. The capability of the ECS to control energy balance food intake and appetite has received important attention, particularly in the light of the different styles of action underlying these functions. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates the rewarding properties of food by working at specific mesolimbic zones in the brain. In the hypothalamus, CB1 receptors and endocannabinoids are integrated components of the networks controlling appetite and food intake.

Interestingly, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) was newly shown to regulate different metabolic functions by working on peripheral tissues such as the skeletal muscles, the gastrointestinal tract, adipocytes,  the endocrine pancreas, and hepatocytes. The importance of the ECS is extra strengthened by the thought that visceral obesity shows to be a situation in which an overactivation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) occurs, and accordingly, medications interfering with this overactivation by obstructing CB1 receptors are regarded as potentially important candidates for the therapy of related cardiometabolic risk factors and obesity.

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