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Eur J Pharmacol. 2000 Mar 10;391(1-2):151-61.

Pharmacological characterisation of cannabinoid CB(1) receptors in the rat and mouse.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia.


The role of cannabinoid CB(1) receptors in sympathetic neurotransmission was characterised in nerve-mediated responses of isolated right atria, vasa deferentia and small mesenteric resistance arteries using the cannabinoid CB(1) receptor agonists Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, CP 55,940 and anandamide and the cannabinoid CB(1)-selective antagonist SR 141716A. In the mouse vas deferens, the twitch response was completely inhibited by each of the putative cannabinoid receptor agonists with pIC(50) values of CP 55,940, 9.2+/-0.1; Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, 8.4+/-0.1; anandamide, 7.1+/-0.1. SR 141716A 10-100 nM was a competitive antagonist of all three agonists with a pK(B) value of 8.4-8.6, consistent with an interaction at the cannabinoid CB(1) receptor. In the rat vas deferens CP 55,940 (0.01-10 microM) inhibited the contractions to a significant extent (88.5+/-0.5% at 10 microM; pIC(50) of 7.1+/-0.1) while Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol and anandamide (both up to 10 microM) were inactive. CP 55,940 exhibited low potency in rat compared with mouse vas deferens and the rat concentration-response curve was not competitively antagonised by SR 141716A (100 nM) or SR 144528 (10 nM-10 microM), suggesting an interaction at a receptor(s) distinct from cannabinoid CB(1) or CB(2). Sympathetic nerve-induced tachycardia in rat and mouse atria, and rat mesenteric artery smooth muscle contractile responses to perivascular nerve stimulation, were not inhibited by Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, CP 55,940 or anandamide up to 1 microM. These data indicate that cannabinoid CB(1) receptor activation inhibits sympathetic neurotransmission only in the mouse vas deferens and thus point to species and regional differences in cannabinoid CB(1) receptor involvement in pre-synaptic inhibition of sympathetic neurotransmission and CP 55,940 may have inhibitory actions in rat vas deferens unrelated to cannabinoid receptor activity.

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