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Brain Res. 2006 May 4;1087(1):105-13. Epub 2006 Apr 13.

Cannabinoid system in the budgerigar brain.

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Dpto. Biología Celular, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas y Ambientales, Universidad de León, Campus de Vegazana s/n, 24071, León, Spain.


Cannabinoid receptor density and cannabinoid receptor-mediated G protein stimulation were studied by autoradiographic techniques throughout the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) brain. The maximal CB(1) receptor density value (using [(3)H]CP55,940 as radioligand) was found in the molecular layer of the cerebellum (Mol), and high binding values were observed in the nucleus taeniae amygdalae (TnA), nucleus preopticus medialis, and nucleus pretectalis. The highest net-stimulated [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding values induced by the selective CB(1) receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 were observed in the nucleus paramedianus internus thalami, and high values of [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding were observed in the TnA, Mol, arcopallium dorsale and arcopallium intermedium. The distribution data suggest that in the budgerigar, as previously indicated in mammals, cannabinoid receptors may be related to the control of several brain functions in the motor system, memory, visual system, and reproductive behavior. The discrepancies between the cannabinoid receptor densities and the cannabinoid receptor-mediated stimulation found in several budgerigar brain nuclei support the hypothesis, previously described for mammals, of the existence of different G(i/o) protein populations able to associate with the cannabinoid receptors, depending on the brain structure, and could reflect the relative importance that cannabinoid transmission could exerts in each cerebral area.

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