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Neuroscience. 1999;93(3):969-75.

Cannabinoid CB1 receptors are localized primarily on cholecystokinin-containing GABAergic interneurons in the rat hippocampal formation.

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Department of Psychology, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA.


Localization of cannabinoid CB 1 receptors on GABAergic interneurons in the rat hippocampal formation was studied by double-labeling immunohistochemistry with confocal microscopy. Virtually all CB1-immunoreactive neurons (95%) are GABAergic. CB 1 fluorescence showed a punctate pattern. In contrast, the GABA fluorescence was distributed homogeneously, suggesting that while CB 1 receptors and GABA exist in the same cells they are not localized in the same subcellular compartments. Although virtually all CB1 neurons were GABAergic, many GABAergic neurons did not contain CB1 receptors. GABAergic interneurons in the hippocampal formation can be further divided into subpopulations with distinct connections and functions, using cell markers such as neuropeptides and calcium binding proteins. CB1 receptors were highly co-localized with cholecystokinin and partially co-localized with calretinin and calbindin, but not with parvalbumin. This suggests that cannabinoids may modulate GABAergic neurotransmission at the synapses on the soma and at synapses on the proximal dendrites of the principal neurons, as well as at synapses on other GABAergic interneurons.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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