Document Detail

The role of endocannabinoids in the hypothalamic regulation of visceral function.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12052044     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The hypothalamus plays an important role in the regulation of several visceral processes, including food intake, thermoregulation and control of anterior pituitary secretion. Endogenous cannabinoids and CB(1) cannabinoid receptors have been found in the hypothalamus. In the present review, we would like to clarify the role of the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of the above-mentioned visceral functions. There is historical support for the role of marihuana (i.e. exogenous cannabinoids) in the regulation of appetite. Endocannabinoids also stimulate food intake. Furthermore, the specific CB(1) receptor antagonist SR141716 reduces food intake. Leptin treatment decreases endocannabinoid levels in normal rats and ob/ob mice. These findings provide evidence for the role of the hypothalamic endocannabinoid system in food intake and appetite regulation. Cannabinoids can change body temperature in a dose-dependent manner. High doses cause hypothermia while low doses cause hyperthermia. Cannabinoid administration decreases heat production. It seems that the effects of can- nabinoids on thermoregulation is exerted by altering some neurochemical mediator effects at both the presynaptic and postsynaptic level.THC and endocannabinoids have mainly inhibitory effects on the regulation of reproduction. Administration of anandamide (AEA) decreases serum luteinizing hormone (LH) and prolactin (PRL) levels. AEA causes a prolongation of pregnancy in rats and temporarily inhibits the postnatal development of the hypothalamo-pituitary axis in offspring. The action of AEA on the reproductory parameters occurs at both the hypothalamic and pituitary level. CB(1) receptors have also been found in the anterior pituitary. Further, LH levels in CB(1) receptor-inactivated mice were decreased compared with wild-type mice. Taken together, all these observations suggest that the endocannabinoid system is playing an important part in the regulation of the mentioned visceral functions and it provides the bases for further applications of cannabinoid receptor agonists and/or antagonists in visceral diseases regulated by the hypothalamus.
T Wenger; G Moldrich
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and essential fatty acids     Volume:  66     ISSN:  0952-3278     ISO Abbreviation:  Prostaglandins Leukot. Essent. Fatty Acids     Publication Date:    2002 Feb-Mar
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-06-07     Completed Date:  2002-12-06     Revised Date:  2009-11-03    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8802730     Medline TA:  Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids     Country:  Scotland    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  301-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Department of Human Morphology and Developmental Embryology, Semmelweis University Budapest, Tüzoltó u.58, PO Box 95, H-1450 Budapest, Hungary.
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MeSH Terms
Appetite Regulation / drug effects
Body Temperature Regulation / drug effects
Cannabinoids / pharmacology*
Eicosanoids / pharmacology*
Hypothalamus / drug effects*,  metabolism
Pituitary Gland / drug effects,  metabolism,  secretion
Receptors, Cannabinoid
Receptors, Drug / agonists,  metabolism
Viscera / drug effects*,  physiology*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Cannabinoids; 0/Eicosanoids; 0/Endocannabinoids; 0/Receptors, Cannabinoid; 0/Receptors, Drug

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