Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Neurosci. 2003 Oct;6(10):1048-57. Epub 2003 Sep 21.

Brief presynaptic bursts evoke synapse-specific retrograde inhibition mediated by endogenous cannabinoids.

Author information

Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, 220 Longwood Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Many types of neurons can release endocannabinoids that act as retrograde signals to inhibit neurotransmitter release from presynaptic terminals. Little is known, however, about the properties or role of such inhibition under physiological conditions. Here we report that brief bursts of presynaptic activity evoked endocannabinoid release, which strongly inhibited parallel fiber-to-Purkinje cell synapses in rat cerebellar slices. This retrograde inhibition was triggered by activation of either postsynaptic metabotropic or ionotropic glutamate receptors and was restricted to synapses activated with high-frequency bursts. Thus, endocannabinoids allow neurons to inhibit specific synaptic inputs in response to a burst, thereby dynamically fine-tuning the properties of synaptic integration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center