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Science. 2007 May 25;316(5828):1212-6.

Hardwiring the brain: endocannabinoids shape neuronal connectivity.

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  • 1Division of Molecular Neurobiology, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, S-17177 Stockholm, Sweden.

Abstract

The roles of endocannabinoid signaling during central nervous system development are unknown. We report that CB(1) cannabinoid receptors (CB(1)Rs) are enriched in the axonal growth cones of gamma-aminobutyric acid-containing (GABAergic) interneurons in the rodent cortex during late gestation. Endocannabinoids trigger CB(1)R internalization and elimination from filopodia and induce chemorepulsion and collapse of axonal growth cones of these GABAergic interneurons by activating RhoA. Similarly, endocannabinoids diminish the galvanotropism of Xenopus laevis spinal neurons. These findings, together with the impaired target selection of cortical GABAergic interneurons lacking CB(1)Rs, identify endocannabinoids as axon guidance cues and demonstrate that endocannabinoid signaling regulates synaptogenesis and target selection in vivo.

PMID:
17525344
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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