Background: Evidence suggests that endocannabinoid system activation through the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) is associated with enhanced liver injury, and CB1 antagonism may be beneficial. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of rimonabant (CB1 antagonist) on alanine aminotransferase (ALT), a hepatocellular injury marker, and a hepatic inflammatory cytokine profile. Methods: Post hoc review of 2 studies involving 50 obese women with PCOS and well matched for weight, randomised to weight reducing therapy; rimonabant (20 mg od) or orlistat (120 mg tds), or to insulin sensitising therapy metformin, (500 mg tds), or pioglitazone (45 mg od). No subject had non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Results: Treatment with rimonabant for 12 weeks reduced both ALT and weight (p < 0.01), and there was a negative correlation between Δ ALT and Δ HOMA-IR (p < 0.001), but not between Δ ALT and Δ weight. There was a significant reduction of weight with orlistat (p < 0.01); however, orlistat, metformin and pioglitazone had no effect on ALT. The free androgen index fell in all groups (p < 0.05). The inflammatory marker hs-CRP was reduced by pioglitazone (p < 0.001) alone and did not correlate with changes in ALT. The inflammatory cytokine profile for IL-1β, IL-6, IL-7, IL-10, IL12, TNF-α, MCP-1 and INF-γ did not differ between groups. None of the interventions had an effect on biological variability of ALT. Conclusion: Rimonabant through CB1 receptor blockade decreased serum ALT that was independent of weight loss and hepatic inflammatory markers in obese women with PCOS without NAFLD.
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism