DOPE AND THE MUNCHIES
Everyone knows that cannabis stimulates the appetite. Now scientists have drawn the first firm link between cannabinoids, natural cannabis-like molecules in the brain, and the normal regulation of body weight, as they report in this week’s Nature (Vol. 410, No. 6830, 12 Apr 2001).
Mice genetically engineered to lack cannabinoid function eat less than normal, show George Kunos of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond and his colleagues.
Levels of cannabinoids, like other molecules that direct food intake, are under the control of the key fat-regulator leptin, a hormone that keeps tabs on the energy status of the body. "This is the first time that the cannabinoid and leptin pathways have been shown to interact," says Raphael Mechoulam of Hebrew University in Israel, who writes an accompanying News and Views article.
George Kunos (currently at the NIAAA, NIH, Bethesda)
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(C) Nature press release.
Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza
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