Modulation of NMDA and AMPA-mediated synaptic transmission by CB1 receptors in frontal cortical pyramidal cells.
Although the endogenous cannabinoid system modulates a variety of physiological and pharmacological processes, the specific role of cannabinoid CB1 receptors in the modulation of glutamatergic neurotransmission and neural plasticity is not well understood. Using whole-cell patch clamp recording techniques, evoked or spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (eEPSCs or sEPSCs) were recorded from visualized, layer II/III pyramidal cells in frontal cortical slices from rat brain. Bath application of the CB1 receptor agonist, WIN 55212-2 (WIN), reduced the amplitude of NMDA receptor-mediated EPSCs in a concentration-dependent manner. When co-applied with the specific CB1 antagonists, AM251 or AM281, WIN did not suppress NMDA receptor-mediated EPSCs. WIN also reduced the amplitude of evoked AMPA receptor-mediated EPSCs, an effect that was also reversed by AM251. Both the frequency and amplitude of spontaneous AMPA receptor-mediated EPSCs were significantly reduced by WIN. In contrast, WIN reduced the frequency, but not the amplitude of miniature EPSCs, suggesting that the suppression of glutamatergic activity by CB1 receptors in the frontal neocortex is mediated by a presynaptic mechanism. Taken together, these data indicate a critical role for endocannabinoid signaling in the regulation of excitatory synaptic transmission in frontal neocortex, and suggest a possible neuronal mechanism whereby THC regulates cortical function.
Li, Q; Yan, H; Wilson, WA; Swartzwelder, HS
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