Dual role of cannabinoid receptors in feeding behavior

[Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

Activation of cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors is known to increase food intake, but the neuronal mechanisms underlying this relationship are not well understood. The receptors are expressed in many brain regions that control food intake, where they govern both excitatory (GABAergic) and inhibitory (glutamatergic) neurotransmission, in turn possibly suppressing or promoting feeding behavior, respectively. By reducing either excitatory or inhibitory neurotransmission, activation of CB1 receptors might have opposing effects on food intake. To clarify this interaction, Giovanni Marsicano (Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Bordeaux, France) and colleagues evaluated food intake in fasted mutant mice that lacked CB1 receptors completely or only in either GABAergic or glutamatergic neurons.

Lab Anim. (NY) 43, 111 (2014).
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