Direct Actions of Cannabinoids on Synaptic Transmission in the Nucleus Accumbens: A Comparison With Opioids

Direct Actions of Cannabinoids on Synaptic Transmission in the Nucleus Accumbens: A Comparison... Abstract The nucleus accumbens (NAc) represents a critical site for the rewarding and addictive properties of several classes of abused drugs. The medium spiny GABAergic projection neurons (MSNs) in the NAc receive innervation from intrinsic GABAergic interneurons and glutamatergic innervation from extrinsic sources. Both GABA and glutamate release onto MSNs are inhibited by drugs of abuse, suggesting that this action may contribute to their rewarding properties. To investigate the actions of cannabinoids in the NAc, we performed whole cell recordings from MSNs located in the shell region in rat brain slices. The cannabinoid agonist WIN 55,212-2 (1 μM) had no effect on the resting membrane potential, input resistance, or whole cell conductance, suggesting no direct postsynaptic effects. Evoked glutamatergic excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) were inhibited to a much greater extent by Tyr- d -Ala 2 , N-CH 3 -Phe 4 , Gly-ol-enkephalin (DAMGO, ∼35%) than by WIN 55,212-2 (<20%), and an analysis of miniature EPSCs suggested that the effects of DAMGO were presynaptic, whereas those of WIN 55,212-2 were postsynaptic. However, electrically evoked GABAergic inhibitory postsynaptic currents (evIPSCs), were reduced by WIN 55,212-2 in every neuron tested (EC 50 = 123 nM; 60% maximal inhibition), and the inhibition of IPSCs by WIN 55,212-2 was completely antagonized by the CB1 receptor antagonist SR141716A (1 μM). In contrast evIPSCs were inhibited in ∼50% of MSNs by the μ/δ opioid agonist d -Ala 2 -methionine 2 -enkephalinamide and were completely unaffected by a selective μ-opioid receptor agonist (DAMGO). WIN 55,212-2 also increased paired-pulse facilitation of the evIPSCs and did not alter the amplitudes of tetrodotoxin-resistant miniature IPSCs, suggesting a presynaptic action. Taken together, these data suggest that cannabinoids and opioids differentially modulate inhibitory and excitatory synaptic transmission in the NAc and that the abuse liability of marijuana may be related to the direct actions of cannabinoids in this structure. Footnotes Present address and address for reprint requests: C. R. Lupica, Dept. of Pharmacology, University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson, AZ 85724-5050 (E-mail: crlupica@emailarizona.edu ). Copyright © 2001 The American Physiological Society http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Neurophysiology The American Physiological Society

Direct Actions of Cannabinoids on Synaptic Transmission in the Nucleus Accumbens: A Comparison With Opioids

Loading next page...
 
/lp/the-american-physiological-society/direct-actions-of-cannabinoids-on-synaptic-transmission-in-the-nucleus-PZXz516xTJ
Publisher
The American Physiological Society
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 the American Physiological Society
ISSN
0022-3077
eISSN
1522-1598
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract The nucleus accumbens (NAc) represents a critical site for the rewarding and addictive properties of several classes of abused drugs. The medium spiny GABAergic projection neurons (MSNs) in the NAc receive innervation from intrinsic GABAergic interneurons and glutamatergic innervation from extrinsic sources. Both GABA and glutamate release onto MSNs are inhibited by drugs of abuse, suggesting that this action may contribute to their rewarding properties. To investigate the actions of cannabinoids in the NAc, we performed whole cell recordings from MSNs located in the shell region in rat brain slices. The cannabinoid agonist WIN 55,212-2 (1 μM) had no effect on the resting membrane potential, input resistance, or whole cell conductance, suggesting no direct postsynaptic effects. Evoked glutamatergic excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) were inhibited to a much greater extent by Tyr- d -Ala 2 , N-CH 3 -Phe 4 , Gly-ol-enkephalin (DAMGO, ∼35%) than by WIN 55,212-2 (<20%), and an analysis of miniature EPSCs suggested that the effects of DAMGO were presynaptic, whereas those of WIN 55,212-2 were postsynaptic. However, electrically evoked GABAergic inhibitory postsynaptic currents (evIPSCs), were reduced by WIN 55,212-2 in every neuron tested (EC 50 = 123 nM; 60% maximal inhibition), and the inhibition of IPSCs by WIN 55,212-2 was completely antagonized by the CB1 receptor antagonist SR141716A (1 μM). In contrast evIPSCs were inhibited in ∼50% of MSNs by the μ/δ opioid agonist d -Ala 2 -methionine 2 -enkephalinamide and were completely unaffected by a selective μ-opioid receptor agonist (DAMGO). WIN 55,212-2 also increased paired-pulse facilitation of the evIPSCs and did not alter the amplitudes of tetrodotoxin-resistant miniature IPSCs, suggesting a presynaptic action. Taken together, these data suggest that cannabinoids and opioids differentially modulate inhibitory and excitatory synaptic transmission in the NAc and that the abuse liability of marijuana may be related to the direct actions of cannabinoids in this structure. Footnotes Present address and address for reprint requests: C. R. Lupica, Dept. of Pharmacology, University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson, AZ 85724-5050 (E-mail: crlupica@emailarizona.edu ). Copyright © 2001 The American Physiological Society

Journal

Journal of NeurophysiologyThe American Physiological Society

Published: Jan 1, 2001

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off