, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 831-838
Date: 19 Feb 2009

Cannabinoid Receptor-1 Blockade Attenuates Acute pancreatitis in Obesity by An adiponectin Mediated Mechanism

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Obesity is a risk factor for increased severity of acute pancreatitis. Adipocytes produce adiponectin, an anti-inflammatory molecule that is paradoxically decreased in the setting of obesity. We have shown that adiponectin concentration inversely mirrors the severity of pancreatitis in obese mice. Cannabinoid receptor CB-1 blockade increases circulating adiponectin concentration. We, therefore, hypothesize that blockade of CB-1 would increase adiponectin and attenuate pancreatitis severity.


Forty lean (C57BL/6J) and 40 obese (LepDb) mice were studied. Half of the mice in each strain received intraperitoneal injection of the CB-1 antagonist rimonabant (10 mg/kg daily for 7 days); the others received vehicle. Pancreatitis was induced by intraperitoneal injection of cerulein (50 μg/g hourly ×6). Pancreatitis severity was determined by histology. Pancreatic chemokine and proinflammatory cytokine concentrations were measured by ELISA.


Rimonabant treatment significantly increased circulating adiponectin concentration in obese mice (p < 0.03 vs. vehicle). After induction of pancreatitis, obese mice treated with rimonabant had significantly decreased histologic pancreatitis (p < 0.001), significantly lower pancreatic tissue levels of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (p = 0.03), tumor necrosis factor-α (p < 0.001), interleukin-6 (p < 0.001), and myeloperoxidase (p = 0.006) relative to vehicle-treated animals.


In obese mice, cannabinoid receptor CB-1 blockade with rimonabant attenuates the severity of acute pancreatitis by an adiponectin-mediated mechanism.

Presented as a poster at the 59th annual meeting of the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, May 18–21, San Diego, CA, USA.
Supported, in part, by the SSAT career development award and the Indiana University Biomedical Research Grant (both to NJZ)