Endocannabinoid system and cardio-metabolic risk.Med J Malaysia. 2008 Oct; 63(4):348-50; quiz 351.MJ
Recent research in bio-medical science has shown an integral role of endocannabinoid system (ECS) in determining cardio-metabolic risk of human body. The mechanism is mediated through binding of endocannabinoids at the CB1 receptors. The stimulation of CB1 receptor in the brain is believed to control and mediate the effects on appetite. In normal physiology, CB1 receptors activation is responsible for energy homeostasis, govern emotions and behaviors such as anxiety, fear, appetite, food and water intake. CB1 receptors also found in peripheral tissues like liver, pancreas, skeletal muscles and adipose tissues, which play an important role in lipid and glucose metabolism. Over-activation of ECS is associated with various metabolic diseases such as dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, lipogenesis, excessive weight gain and increasing intra-abdominal obesity. All these events lead to increased cardiovascular risk. Use of selective CB1 receptor blocker such as rimonabant has shown to reduced waist circumference, better glycemic control, lower triglyceride levels, raise HDL cholesterol and over all reduction in total body fat. This drug has been recommended for patients with metabolic syndrome.