teatro anatomico

International workshop on ...

Endocannabinoids in Endocrinology, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases

Scientific background and clinical perspectives

Padua (Italy), July 5-7th, 2007

University of Padua   
University of Bologna

Press Release n.1, June 29th, 2007

From Endocannabinoids an Important Clue to Understand Metabolism and to Cure Obesity

Padua, June 29th, 2007.

Revealing the secrets underlying the regulation of body weight, endocrine function and cardiovascular diseases. This is the task for the experts coming from Italy and abroad who will join the International workshop on “Endocannabinoids in Endocrinology, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases – Scientific background and clinical perspectives” to be held at the Aula Magna “Galileo Galilei” of the University of Padua on July 5-7th.

The meeting is chaired by Prof Roberto Vettor from the Dept of medical and surgical sciences of the University of Padua and by Prof Renato Pasquali, from the Endocrinology unit of the University of Bologna.

Scientists will discuss up-to-date scientific evidence on endogenous cannabinoids, a recently discovered, and still not completely understood, regulatory system. These small lipid molecules are produced in most organs and tissues and play a role in multiple functions in humans. Their action in the complex network regulating body weight is of particular interest. Overproduction of endocannabinoids and their receptors is one of the mechanisms involved in the development of obesity, the most worrisome health concern in western countries and a major challenge for medicine of the 21st century.

Blockade of endocannabinoid system with specific receptor antagonists paved the way for a new compound, called rimonabant, that was approved by the European Medicines Agency in early 2006 and is now available in Europe to treat obesity.

Outstanding scientists will be present at the meeting. Among the others, Prof Raphael Mechoulam, from University of Jerusalem (Israel) who has given a major contribution to chemical and physiological characterization of endocannabinoids, will join the workshop. In 1964 he isolated and identified tetrahydrocannabinol, the active compound of Cannabis sativa. Dr Vincenzo Di Marzo, from the italian Centro Nazionale delle Ricerche of Pozzuoli, who published fundamental studies on the role of endocannabinoids in obesity, and Prof Sandor Batkai, from National Instute of Health of Bethesda (USA), will also participate to the meeting.

The workshop will be held under the auspices of the italian societies of obesity, diabetes, endocrinology, cardiology, atherosclerosis and internal medicine.

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