Endocannabinoid system overactivity and the metabolic syndrome: prospects for treatment.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a physiologic role in modulating energy balance, feeding behavior, lipoprotein metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and glucose homeostasis, which when dysregulated can all contribute to cardiometabolic risk. Evidence has suggested that the ECS is overactive in human obesity and in animal models of genetic and diet-induced obesity. ECS stimulation centrally and peripherally drives metabolic processes that mimic the metabolic syndrome. These findings have led to the development of potential novel therapeutic targets, including the drug rimonabant, a selective CB1 receptor antagonist, which has been shown to promote weight loss, reduce inflammation, improve dyslipidemia, and improve glucose homeostasis.
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