Dysregulation of cannabinoid CB1 receptor expression in subcutaneous adipocytes of obese individuals

Yong Ho Lee, William G. Tharp, Anne E. Dixon, Laurie Spaulding, Susanne Trost, Saraswathy Nair, Paska A. Permana, Richard E. Pratley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a key role in the regulation of appetite, body weight and metabolism. We undertook the present study to further clarify the regulation of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1, CNR1) in human adipose tissue in obesity. CB1 receptor mRNA expression was ~1.6-fold (P<0.004) and 1.9-fold higher (P<0.05) in subcutaneous adipocytes from obese compared to non-obese subjects in microarray and quantitative real-time PCR studies, respectively. Higher CB1 receptor mRNA expression levels in both adipose tissue (~1.2 fold, P<0.05) and adipocytes (~2 fold, P<0.01) were observed in samples from visceral compared to subcutaneous depots collected from 22 obese individuals. Immunofluorescence confocal microscopy demonstrated the presence of CB1 receptor on adipocytes and also adipose tissue macrophages. These data indicate that adipocyte CB1 receptor is up-regulated in human obesity and visceral adipose tissue and also suggest a potential role for the ECS in modulating immune/inflammation as well as fat metabolism in adipose tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-379
Number of pages9
JournalAnimal Cells and Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Adipocyte
  • Adipose tissue
  • CB1 receptor
  • Endocannabinoid
  • Obesity
  • Real-time PCR


Dive into the research topics of 'Dysregulation of cannabinoid CB1 receptor expression in subcutaneous adipocytes of obese individuals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this