Peripheral modulation of the endocannabinoid system in metabolic disease

Nirajan Shrestha, James S.M. Cuffe, Dana S. Hutchinson, John P. Headrick, Anthony V. Perkins, Andrew J. McAinch, Deanne H. Hryciw

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Dysfunction of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has been identified in metabolic disease. Cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) is abundantly expressed in the brain but also expressed in the periphery. Cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) is more abundant in the periphery, including the immune cells. In obesity, global antagonism of overexpressed CB1 reduces bodyweight but leads to centrally mediated adverse psychological outcomes. Emerging research in isolated cultured cells or tissues has demonstrated that targeting the endocannabinoid system in the periphery alleviates the pathologies associated with metabolic disease. Further, peripheral specific cannabinoid ligands can reverse aspects of the metabolic phenotype. This Keynote review will focus on current research on the functionality of peripheral modulation of the ECS for the treatment of obesity. This Keynote review discusses the peripheral modulation of the ECS in liver, adipose tissue, heart, skeletal muscle, gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, kidney and the immuno-inflammatory system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-604
Number of pages13
JournalDrug Discovery Today
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018

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