Cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB-1) antagonists are potential candidates for treating obesity and metabolic complications. Despite clear metabolic benefits, unwanted side effects in the brain pose issues for patients. With the hope of overcoming this obstacle, CB-1 in peripheral tissues has become a potential drug target. Previous studies had suggested that liver CB-1 would be an excellent target to prevent development of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NAFLD). However, in this issue of the JCI, Wang et al. showed that CB-1 was barely detectable in the liver and deletion of CB-1 in hepatocytes provided no metabolic benefits against NAFLD. These contradictory results raise substantial concerns about the potential benefits of peripheral CB-1 blockers against NAFLD.
Beste Mutlu, Pere Puigserver