New insights on food intake control by olfactory processes: the emerging role of the endocannabinoid system

Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2014 Nov;397(1-2):59-66. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2014.09.023. Epub 2014 Sep 27.


The internal state of the organism is an important modulator of perception and behavior. The link between hunger, olfaction and feeding behavior is one of the clearest examples of these connections. At the neurobiological level, olfactory circuits are the targets of several signals (i.e. hormones and nutrients) involved in energy balance. This indicates that olfactory areas are potential sensors of the internal state of the organism. Thus, the aim of this manuscript is to review the literature showing the interplay between metabolic signals in olfactory circuits and its impact on food intake.

Keywords: Endocannabinoids; Fasting; Feeding behavior; Ghrelin; Leptin; Olfaction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Modulators / metabolism
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Modulators / physiology
  • Eating*
  • Endocannabinoids / metabolism
  • Endocannabinoids / physiology*
  • Energy Intake
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Olfactory Perception*
  • Smell


  • Cannabinoid Receptor Modulators
  • Endocannabinoids
  • Glucose