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Neuropharmacology. 2010 Jun;58(8):1215-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2010.03.001. Epub 2010 Mar 7.

Characterization of active and inactive states of CB1 receptor and the differential binding state modulation by cannabinoid agonists, antagonists and inverse agonists.

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  • 1Division of Pharmacology, Glenmark Research Centre, Navi Mumbai - 400 709, India.


Cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors have the ability to change conformation between active (R*) and inactive (R) receptor states. Herein, we further characterize these receptor states using series of saturation radioligand binding studies and their differential displacement binding by various CB1 receptor ligands. Binding experiments were carried out in naïve rat/dog whole brain membranes using radioligands [(3)H]CP55,940 (for R* state) & [(3)H]SR141716A (both R* and R states) and various agonist, antagonist & inverse agonist ligands at CB1 receptors. In the saturation binding experiments, of the total number of CB1 receptor binding sites (R* + R) in the rat and dog whole brain membranes, only about 18.3 and 11.6% were in the active (R*) state recognized by [(3)H]CP55,940, respectively. In the competitive binding studies, all the CB1 receptor agonists investigated had significantly very high affinity for the active R* state recognized by [(3)H]CP55,940 and lower affinity for the inactive R state mainly recognized by [(3)H]SR141716A in the presence of a non-hydrolyzable analogue of GTP [Gpp(NH)p]. In contrast, various CB1 receptor antagonists/inverse agonists had similar nanomolar affinities at both [(3)H]CP55,940 and [(3)H]SR141716A recognized binding states. These results clearly characterize the significant differences between the active R* and inactive R binding states of CB1 receptors in naive rat and dog brain. In addition, these results also demonstrates that the CB1 agonists and antagonists/inverse agonists can be differentiated by their relative affinities at active (R*) and inactive (R) binding states of the CB1 receptor.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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