Special Issue "Understanding the Role of the Endocannabinoid System in Nutrition and Appetite Regulation"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutrition and Metabolism".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Claudio Imperatori
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Human Sciences, European University of Rome, Rome, Italy
Interests: eating disorders; binge eating; obesity; overweight; food addiction; psychopathology; neurophysiology; assessment
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex endogenous signaling network characterized by many receptors situated on different areas of the brain and body. It is involved in several important functions which are essential for the maintenance of physiological homeostasis, including the regulation of appetite. For example, recent findings have shown that, along with the direct role in food intake, endocannabinoids also modulate appetite indirectly through an interaction with appetite modulators (e.g., leptin). Consequently, the ECS has also been proposed as one of the most important contributing factors in obesity incidence and subsequent metabolic abnormalities. Therefore, the aim of this Special Issue is to provide up-to-date information about the link between the ECS, nutrition, and the regulation of appetite, including findings from psychological, nutritional, neuroendocrinological, neurobiologocal, and animal research, and to discuss implication for interventions. 

Prof. Dr. Claudio Imperatori
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Endocannabinoid system
  • Cannabinoid receptor
  • Δ9‐tetrahydrocannabinol
  • Cannabidiol
  • Metabolism
  • Body mass index
  • Food intake
  • Nutrition
  • Metabolism-related diseases
  • Eating disorders

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
A Role for Peripheral Anandamide and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol in Short-Term Food Intake and Orexigenic Hypothalamic Responses in a Species with Continuous Nutrient Delivery
Nutrients 2021, 13(10), 3587; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13103587 - 13 Oct 2021
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Abstract
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a pivotal role in the complex control and regulation of food intake. Pharmacological ECS activation could improve health in energy-deficient stages by increasing food intake, at least in intermittent feeders. However, knowledge of the mechanism regulating appetite in [...] Read more.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a pivotal role in the complex control and regulation of food intake. Pharmacological ECS activation could improve health in energy-deficient stages by increasing food intake, at least in intermittent feeders. However, knowledge of the mechanism regulating appetite in species with continued nutrient delivery is incomplete. The objectives of this pilot study were to investigate the effect of the intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of the endocannabinoids (ECs) anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) on food intake, plasma EC concentrations and hypothalamic orexigenic signaling, and to study how the circulatory EC tone changes in response to short-term food deprivation in dairy cows, a species with continuous nutrient delivery. The administration of EC resulted in higher food intake during the first hour after treatment. Plasma AEA concentrations were significantly increased 2.5 h after AEA injection, whereas plasma 2-AG concentrations remained unchanged 2.5 h after 2-AG injection. The hypothalamic immunoreactivity of cannabinoid receptor 1, agouti-related protein, and orexin-A was not affected by either treatment; however, neuropeptide Y and agouti-related protein mRNA abundances were downregulated in the arcuate nucleus of AEA-treated animals. Short-term food deprivation increased plasma 2-AG, while plasma AEA remained unchanged. In conclusion, i.p.-administered 2-AG and AEA increase food intake in the short term, but only AEA accumulates in the circulation. However, plasma 2-AG concentrations are more responsive to food deprivation than AEA. Full article
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Article
Maternal High-Fat Diet Modulates Cnr1 Gene Expression in Male Rat Offspring
Nutrients 2021, 13(8), 2885; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13082885 - 22 Aug 2021
Viewed by 590
Abstract
In recent years, strong evidence has emerged that exposure to a maternal high-fat diet (HFD) provokes changes in the structure, function, and development of the offspring’s brain and may induce several neurodevelopmental and psychiatric illnesses. The aims of this study were to evaluate [...] Read more.
In recent years, strong evidence has emerged that exposure to a maternal high-fat diet (HFD) provokes changes in the structure, function, and development of the offspring’s brain and may induce several neurodevelopmental and psychiatric illnesses. The aims of this study were to evaluate the effects of a maternal HFD during pregnancy and lactation on depressive-like behavior and Cnr1 gene expression (encoding the CB1 receptor) in brain structures of rat offspring and to investigate the epigenetic mechanism involved in this gene expression. We found that a maternal HFD during pregnancy and lactation induced a depressive-like phenotype at postnatal days (PNDs) 28 and 63. We found that a maternal HFD decreased the Cnr1 mRNA levels in the prefrontal cortex with the increased levels of miR-212-5p and methylation of CpG islands at the Cnr1 promoter and reduced the level of Cnr1 gene expression in the dorsal striatum with an increased level of miR-154-3p in adolescent male offspring. A contrasting effect of a maternal HFD was observed in the hippocampus, where upregulation of Cnr1 gene expression was accompanied by a decrease of miR-154-3p (at PNDs 28 and 63) and miR-212-5p (at PND 63) expression and methylation of CpG islands at the Cnr1 promoter in male offspring. In summary, we showed that a maternal HFD during pregnancy and lactation triggered several epigenetic mechanisms in the brains of rat offspring, which may be related to long-lasting alterations in the next generation and produce behavioral changes in offspring, including a depressive-like phenotype. Full article
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