Hypothalamic CB1 Cannabinoid Receptors Regulate Energy Balance in Mice
ABSTRACT Cannabinoid type 1 (CB(1)) receptor activation is generally considered a powerful orexigenic signal and inhibition of the endocannabinoid system is beneficial for the treatment of obesity and related metabolic diseases. The hypothalamus plays a critical role in regulating energy balance by modulating both food intake and energy expenditure. Although CB(1) receptor signaling has been implicated in the modulation of both these mechanisms, a complete understanding of its role in the hypothalamus is still lacking. Here we combined a genetic approach with the use of adeno-associated viral vectors to delete the CB(1) receptor gene in the adult mouse hypothalamus and assessed the impact of such manipulation on the regulation of energy balance. Viral-mediated deletion of the CB(1) receptor gene in the hypothalamus led to the generation of Hyp-CB(1)-KO mice, which displayed an approximately 60% decrease in hypothalamic CB(1) receptor mRNA levels. Hyp-CB(1)-KO mice maintained on a normocaloric, standard diet showed decreased body weight gain over time, which was associated with increased energy expenditure and elevated β(3)-adrenergic receptor and uncoupling protein-1 mRNA levels in the brown adipose tissue but, surprisingly, not to changes in food intake. Additionally, Hyp-CB(1)-KO mice were insensitive to the anorectic action of the hormone leptin (5 mg/kg) and displayed a time-dependent hypophagic response to the CB(1) inverse agonist rimonabant (3 mg/kg). Altogether these findings suggest that hypothalamic CB(1) receptor signaling is a key determinant of energy expenditure under basal conditions and reveal its specific role in conveying the effects of leptin and pharmacological CB1 receptor antagonism on food intake.
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ABSTRACT: Metabolic flexibility allows rapid adaptation to dietary change, however little is known about the CNS mechanisms regulating this process. Neurons in the hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus (VMN) participate in energy balance and are the target of the metabolically relevant hormone leptin. Cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptors are expressed in VMN neurons, but the specific contribution of endocannabinoid signaling in this neuronal population to energy balance regulation is unknown. Here we demonstrate that VMN CB1 receptors regulate metabolic flexibility and actions of leptin. In chow-fed mice, conditional deletion of CB1 in VMN neurons (expressing the steroidogenic factor 1, SF1) decreases adiposity by increasing sympathetic activity and lipolysis, and facilitates metabolic effects of leptin. Conversely, under high-fat diet, lack of CB1 in VMN neurons produces leptin resistance, blunts peripheral use of lipid substrates and increases adiposity. Thus, CB1 receptors in VMN neurons provide a molecular switch adapting the organism to dietary change.Figure optionsDownload full-size imageDownload as PowerPoint slide08/2014; 3(7). DOI:10.1016/j.molmet.2014.07.004
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ABSTRACT: Type-1 cannabinoid (CB1) and leptin (ObR) receptors regulate metabolic and astroglial functions, but the potential links between the two systems in astrocytes were not investigated so far. Genetic and pharmacological manipulations of CB1 receptor expression and activity in cultured cortical and hypothalamic astrocytes demonstrated that cannabinoid signaling controls the levels of ObR expression. Lack of CB1 receptors also markedly impaired leptin-mediated activation of signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 and 5 (STAT3 and STAT5) in astrocytes. In particular, CB1 deletion determined a basal overactivation of STAT5, thereby leading to the downregulation of ObR expression, and leptin failed to regulate STAT5-dependent glycogen storage in the absence of CB1 receptors. These results show that CB1 receptors directly interfere with leptin signaling and its ability to regulate glycogen storage, thereby representing a novel mechanism linking endocannabinoid and leptin signaling in the regulation of brain energy storage and neuronal functions.11/2013; 2(4):393-404. DOI:10.1016/j.molmet.2013.08.001
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ABSTRACT: Endocannabinoids and cannabinoid CB1 receptors are known to play a generalized role in energy homeostasis. However, clinical trials with the first generation of CB1 blockers, now discontinued due to psychiatric side effects, were originally designed to reduce food intake and body weight rather than the metabolic risk factors associated with obesity. In this review, we discuss how, in addition to promoting energy intake, endocannabinoids control lipid and glucose metabolism in several peripheral organs, particularly the liver and adipose tissue. Direct actions in skeletal muscle and pancreas are also emerging. This knowledge may help in the design of future therapies for the metabolic syndrome.Cell metabolism 04/2013; 17(4):475-90. DOI:10.1016/j.cmet.2013.03.001 · 16.75 Impact Factor