Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Pharmacol. 1995 Sep;48(3):443-50.

Comparison of the pharmacology and signal transduction of the human cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors.

Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Cell Biology, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


The recently cloned CB2 cannabinoid receptor subtype was stably transfected into AtT-20 and Chinese hamster ovary cells to compare the binding and signal transduction properties of this receptor with those of the CB1 receptor subtype. The binding of [3H]CP 55,940 to both CB1 and CB2 was of similar high affinity (2.6 and 3.7 nM, respectively) and saturable. In competitive binding experiments, (-)-delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol and CP 55,940 were equipotent at the CB1 and CB2 receptors, but WIN 55212-2 and cannabinol bound with higher affinity to the CB2 than the CB1 receptor. HU 210 had a higher affinity for the CB1 receptor. Anandamide, a recently identified endogenous cannabinoid agonist, was essentially equipotent at both receptor subtypes. The structurally related fatty acid ethanolamides dihomo-gamma-linolenylethanolamide and mead ethanolamide also bound with relatively equal affinity to both receptors, but adrenylethanolamide had a higher affinity for the CB1 receptor. The rank order of potency and efficacy for binding of the selected agonists to the CB1 and CB2 receptors was mimicked in functional inhibition of cAMP accumulation experiments for all compounds tested. Both CB1 and CB2 receptors couple to the inhibition of cAMP accumulation that was pertussis toxin sensitive. SR141716A, a CB1 receptor antagonist, was a poor antagonist at the CB2 receptor in both binding and functional inhibition of cAMP accumulation experiments. When expressed in AtT-20 cells, the CB1 receptor mediated an inhibition of Q-type calcium channels and an activation of inward rectifying potassium channels. In contrast, the CB2 receptor did not modulate the activity of either channel under identical assay conditions. Similar to results obtained for CB1 receptor, the CB2 receptor did not couple to the activation of phospholipases A2, C, or D or to the mobilization of intracellular Ca2+. Except for its inability to couple to the modulation of Q-type calcium channels or inwardly rectifying potassium channels, the CB1 and CB2 receptors display similar pharmacological and biochemical properties.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

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