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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Analysis of the effects of cannabinoids on synaptic transmission between basket and Purkinje cells in the cerebellar cortex of the rat.

The hypothesis of the present work was that activation of CB1 cannabinoid receptors inhibits GABAergic neurotransmission between basket and Purkinje cells in the cerebellar cortex. The aim was to test this hypothesis under near-physiological conditions. Action potentials of basket cells and spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSCs) in synaptically coupled Purkinje cells were recorded simultaneously in rat brain slices. The cannabinoid agonists (R)-(+)-[2,3-dihydro-5-methyl-3-[(morpholinyl) methyl] pyrrolo[1,2,3-de]-1,4-benzoxazinyl]-(1-naphthalenyl)methanone mesylate (WIN 55212-2) and (-)-cis-3-[2-hydroxy-4-(1,1-dimethylheptyl)-phenyl]-trans-4-(3-hydroxy-propyl)-cyclohexanol (CP55940) decreased the amplitude of sIPSCs occurring simultaneously with basket cell action potentials and lowered the success rate of synaptic transmission. These effects were prevented by the CB1 receptor antagonist N-piperidino-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichloro-phenyl)-4-methyl-3-pyrazole-carboxamide (SR141716). Depolarization of Purkinje cells also led to suppression of neurotransmission; prevention of this suppression by CP55940 and SR141716 indicates that endocannabinoids released from Purkinje cells were involved. WIN 55212-2 lowered the amplitude of autoreceptor currents recorded in basket cells (autoreceptor currents are due to the action of GABA released from axon terminals on GABAA autoreceptors of the same axon terminals); this is novel proof of the presynaptic action of cannabinoids. Autoreceptor current experiments also indicated that endogenous cannabinoids are not released by basket cell axon terminals. A presynaptic action is additionally supported by the observation that WIN 55212-2 lowered the frequency of miniature IPSCs recorded in the presence of tetrodotoxin and the calcium ionophore ionomycin. In conclusion, activation of CB1 receptors by exogenous cannabinoids and by endogenous cannabinoids released by Purkinje cells presynaptically inhibits GABAergic neurotransmission between basket and Purkinje cells. This was demonstrated under near-physiological conditions: transmitter release was elicited by action potentials generated by spontaneously firing intact presynaptic neurons.[1]


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