Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Pharmacol. 2004 Mar;65(3):665-74.

Endocannabinoids modulate N-type calcium channels and G-protein-coupled inwardly rectifying potassium channels via CB1 cannabinoid receptors heterologously expressed in mammalian neurons.

Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Physiology, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-8815, USA.


Endocannabinoids may serve as retrograde messengers to inhibit neurotransmitter release during depolarization-induced suppression of inhibition (DSI) or excitation (DSE). We therefore tested whether endocannabinoids inhibit N-type voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels by activating G(i/o)-protein-coupled CB1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1R)--a possible mechanism underlying DSI/DSE. Three putative endocannabinoids [2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG), 2-arachidonyl glycerol ether (2-AGE), and anandamide (AEA)] and the cannabimimetic aminoalkylindole WIN 55,212-2 (WIN) inhibited whole-cell Ca2+ currents in rat sympathetic neurons previously injected with cDNA encoding a human CB1R. Agonist-mediated Ca2+ current inhibition was blocked by a selective CB1R antagonist [SR141716A, N-(piperidin-1-yl)-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboximide hydrochloride] and pertussis toxin (PTX) pretreatment. The rank order of potency was WIN (IC50=2 nM)>2-AGE (350 nM) approximately 2-AG (480 nM)>AEA (approximately 3 microM), with each agonist displaying similar efficacy (approximately 50% maximal inhibition). Increasing CB1R expression level significantly enhanced AEA potency. AEA (10 microM) also inhibited Ca2+ channels in a voltage-independent, CB1R-independent, and PTX-insensitive manner, whereas 2-AG and 2-AGE were devoid of this activity. All three endocannabinoids activated G-protein-coupled inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) channels, GIRK1/4, heterologously expressed in sympathetic neurons. These results suggest a mechanism by which endocannibinoids might influence presynaptic function.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

LinkOut - more resources

Full Text Sources

Other Literature Sources

Molecular Biology Databases


PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk