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Selective cannabinoid-1 receptor blockade benefits fatty acid and triglyceride metabolism significantly in weight-stable nonhuman primates.


The goal of this study was to determine whether administration of the CB₁ cannabinoid receptor antagonist rimonabant would alter fatty acid flux in nonhuman primates. Five adult baboons (Papio Sp) aged 12.1 ± 4.7 yr (body weight: 31.9 ± 2.1 kg) underwent repeated metabolic tests to determine fatty acid and TG flux before and after 7 wk of treatment with rimonabant (15 mg/day). Animals were fed ad libitum diets, and stable isotopes were administered via diet (d₃₁-tripalmitin) and intravenously (¹³C₄-palmitate, ¹³C₁-acetate). Plasma was collected in the fed and fasted states, and blood lipids were analyzed by GC-MS. DEXA was used to assess body composition and a hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp used to assess insulin-mediated glucose disposal. During the study, no changes were observed in food intake, body weight, plasma, and tissue endocannabinoid concentrations or the quantity of liver-TG fatty acids originating from de novo lipogenesis (19 ± 6 vs. 16 ± 5%, for pre- and posttreatment, respectively, P = 0.39). However, waist circumference was significantly reduced 4% in the treated animals (P < 0.04), glucose disposal increased 30% (P = 0.03), and FFA turnover increased 37% (P = 0.02). The faster FFA flux was consistent with a 43% reduction in these fatty acids used for TRL-TG synthesis (40 ± 3 vs. 23 ± 4%, P = 0.02) and a twofold increase in TRL-TG turnover (1.5 ± 0.9 vs. 3.1 ± 1.4 μmol·kg⁻¹·h⁻¹, P = 0.03). These data support the potential for a strong effect of CB₁ receptor antagonism at the level of adipose tissue, resulting in improvements in fasting turnover of fatty acids at the whole body level, central adipose storage, and significant improvements in glucose homeostasis.

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