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Endocannabinoids as Modulators of Synaptic Signaling

Endocannabinoids as Modulators of Synaptic Signaling

  1. ThirdEyeFloond
    The Cannabinoid Receptors p281-308

    Sachin Patel and Cecilia J. Hillard

    Abstract
    One of the major roles of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor in the brain is to mediate short-term and some forms of long-term retrograde inhibition of synaptic transmission. The CB1 cannabinoid receptor is highly expressed in many brain regions. In particular, the CB1 receptor is localized to axon terminals of neurons that release either glutamate or GABA. The purpose of this review is to present and discuss the experimental evidence that presynaptic CB1 receptors function to inhibit neurotransmitter release. Furthermore, evidence is summarized that these CB1 receptors are innervated by endogenous cannabinoid ligands (endocannabinoids) that are mobilized from neurons postsynaptic to those terminals expressing the receptors. The triggers for endocannabinoid mobilization are discussed and the possible physiological roles of endocannabinoid-mediated changes in synaptic activity are presented.
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