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      Cannabinoid receptors in rat brain areas: Sexual differences, fluctuations during estrous cycle and changes after gonadectomy and sex steroid replacement

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      Life Sciences

      Elsevier BV

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          Structure of a cannabinoid receptor and functional expression of the cloned cDNA.

          Marijuana and many of its constituent cannabinoids influence the central nervous system (CNS) in a complex and dose-dependent manner. Although CNS depression and analgesia are well documented effects of the cannabinoids, the mechanisms responsible for these and other cannabinoid-induced effects are not so far known. The hydrophobic nature of these substances has suggested that cannabinoids resemble anaesthetic agents in their action, that is, they nonspecifically disrupt cellular membranes. Recent evidence, however, has supported a mechanism involving a G protein-coupled receptor found in brain and neural cell lines, and which inhibits adenylate cyclase activity in a dose-dependent, stereoselective and pertussis toxin-sensitive manner. Also, the receptor is more responsive to psychoactive cannabinoids than to non-psychoactive cannabinoids. Here we report the cloning and expression of a complementary DNA that encodes a G protein-coupled receptor with all of these properties. Its messenger RNA is found in cell lines and regions of the brain that have cannabinoid receptors. These findings suggest that this protein is involved in cannabinoid-induced CNS effects (including alterations in mood and cognition) experienced by users of marijuana.
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            Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol produces naloxone-blockable enhancement of presynaptic basal dopamine efflux in nucleus accumbens of conscious, freely-moving rats as measured by intracerebral microdialysis

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              Cannabinoid receptors and modulation of cyclic AMP accumulation in the rat brain.

              The mechanism by which cannabinoid compounds produce their effects in the rat brain was evaluated in this investigation. Cannabinoid receptors, quantitated by [3H]CP-55,940 binding, were found in greatest abundance in the rat cortex, cerebellum, hippocampus, and striatum, with smaller but significant binding also found in the hypothalamus, brainstem, and spinal cord. Using rat brain slice preparations, we evaluated the effect of desacetyllevonantradol on basal and forskolin-stimulated cyclic AMP accumulation in the regions exhibiting the greatest cannabinoid receptor density. Desacetyllevonantradol (10 microM) reduced cyclic AMP levels in the hippocampus, frontal cortex, and striatum. In the cerebellum, however, the response to desacetyllevonantradol was biphasic with cyclic AMP accumulation being decreased at lower and increased at higher concentrations. Desacetyllevonantradol reduced cyclic AMP accumulation in isoproterenol-stimulated slices in the cortex and cerebellum, but not in the hippocampus. Cells that responded to vasoactive intestinal peptide with an increase in cyclic AMP accumulation in the hippocampus and cortex also responded to desacetyllevonantradol. The modulation of cyclic AMP accumulation by desacetyllevonantradol could be attenuated following stereotaxic implantation of pertussis toxin, supporting the involvement of a G protein in the cannabinoid response in the brain. However, other actions of cannabinoid compounds may also affect the cyclic AMP levels in brain slice preparations.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Life Sciences
                Life Sciences
                Elsevier BV
                00243205
                January 1994
                January 1994
                : 54
                : 3
                : 159-170
                Article
                10.1016/0024-3205(94)00585-0
                © 1994

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