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Endocannabinoid transport tightly controls 2-arachidonoyl glycerol actions in the hippocampus: effects of low temperature and the transport inhibitor AM404.

  • Author(s): Hájos, Norbert
  • Kathuria, Satish
  • Dinh, Thien
  • Piomelli, Daniele
  • Freund, Tamás F
  • et al.

The control of endocannabinoid actions on cortical neurons by a putative carrier-mediated uptake is still poorly understood at the level of synaptic transmission. We investigated the effect of an endocannabinoid, 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG), on inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) in hippocampal slices under physiological conditions, and when uptake was altered by a selective blocker or lower temperature. Bath application of 2-AG (20 micro m) caused a 40% reduction in the amplitude of IPSCs evoked in the perisomatic region of CA1 pyramidal neurons at room temperature; this effect could be blocked by a specific CB(1) receptor antagonist, AM251. By contrast, a smaller (20%) but significant suppression of inhibitory transmission was found by 2-AG at 33-35 degrees C. This reduced blocking effect at physiological temperature could be brought back to 40% by coapplying the endocannabinoid uptake blocker, AM404 (10 or 20 micro m) with 2-AG. In parallel experiments, we measured [(3)H]2-AG uptake at different temperatures in primary cultures prepared from cortical neurons. These data confirmed a striking inhibition of [(3)H]2-AG uptake at room temperature compared with values observed at 37 degrees C. Uptake could be significantly modified by anandamide, 2-AG and AM404, suggesting a common transporter for the two endocannabinoids. These findings together demonstrate the presence of an effective endocannabinoid uptake in cortical neurons, which could considerably alter the spatial and temporal constraints of endocannabinoid signalling at physiological temperature, and which may critically change the interpretation of findings at room temperature.

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