Cannabinoids, opioids and eating behavior: the molecular face of hedonism?

Daniela Cota, Matthias H. Tschöp, Tamas L. Horvath, Allen S. Levine
Brain Research Reviews. 2006-06-01; 51(1): 85-107
DOI: 10.1016/j.brainresrev.2005.10.004

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1. Brain Res Rev. 2006 Jun;51(1):85-107. Epub 2005 Dec 20.

Cannabinoids, opioids and eating behavior: the molecular face of hedonism?

Cota D(1), Tschöp MH, Horvath TL, Levine AS.

Author information:
(1)Obesity Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, University of
Cincinnati-Genome Research Institute, 2170 E Galbraith Road, Cincinnati, OH
45237, USA.

Obesity represents nowadays one of the most devastating health threats. Published
reports even project a decline in life expectancy of US citizens due to the
rapidly increasing prevalence of obesity. This alarming increase is intimately
linked with recent changes of environment and lifestyle in western countries. In
this context, the rewarding or even addictive properties of popular food may
represent one of the most serious obstacles to overcome for an effective
anti-obesity therapy. Therefore, in addition to molecular networks controlling
energy homeostasis, now researchers are starting to define central nervous
mechanisms governing hedonic and addictive components of food intake. A recently
emerging body of data suggests that the endogenous cannabinoid and opioid systems
both represent key circuits responding to the rewarding value of food. This
review focuses on the role of these two systems for the homeostatic and hedonic
aspects of eating behavior and includes their anatomical and functional
interactions. Independent from the degree to which eating can be considered an
addiction, cannabinoid and opioid receptor antagonists are promising anti-obesity
drugs, since they are targeting both hedonic and homeostatic components of energy
balance control.

DOI: 10.1016/j.brainresrev.2005.10.004
PMID: 16364446 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus