The endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates various physiological processes, including energy homeostasis and kidney function. ECS upregulation in obese animals and humans suggests a potential link to obesity-induced chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, obesity-induced ECS changes in the kidney are mainly studied in rodents, leaving the impact on obese humans unknown. In this study, a total of 21 lean and obese males (38–71 years) underwent a kidney biopsy. Biochemical analysis, histology, and endocannabinoid (eCB) assessment were performed on kidney tissue and blood samples. Correlations between different parameters were evaluated using a comprehensive matrix. The obese group exhibited kidney damage, reflected in morphological changes, and elevated kidney injury and fibrotic markers. While serum eCB levels were similar between the lean and obese groups, kidney eCB analysis revealed higher anandamide in obese patients. Obese individuals also exhibited reduced expression of cannabinoid-1 receptor (CB1R) in the kidney, along with increased activity of eCB synthesizing and degrading enzymes. Correlation analysis highlighted connections between renal eCBs, kidney injury markers, obesity, and related pathologies. In summary, this study investigates obesity’s impact on renal eCB “tone” in humans, providing insights into the ECS’s role in obesity-induced CKD. Our findings enhance the understanding of the intricate interplay among obesity, the ECS, and kidney function.
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- chronic kidney disease
- endocannabinoid system