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Neuroscience. 2007 May 25;146(3):1232-44. Epub 2007 Apr 12.

Status epilepticus causes a long-lasting redistribution of hippocampal cannabinoid type 1 receptor expression and function in the rat pilocarpine model of acquired epilepsy.

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1
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23298, USA.

Abstract

Activation of the cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor, a major G-protein-coupled receptor in brain, acts to regulate neuronal excitability and has been shown to mediate the anticonvulsant effects of cannabinoids in several animal models of seizure, including the rat pilocarpine model of acquired epilepsy. However, the long-term effects of status epilepticus on the expression and function of the CB1 receptor have not been described. Therefore, this study was initiated to evaluate the effect of status epilepticus on CB1 receptor expression, binding, and G-protein activation in the rat pilocarpine model of acquired epilepsy. Using immunohistochemistry, we demonstrated that status epilepticus causes a unique "redistribution" of hippocampal CB1 receptors, consisting of specific decreases in CB1 immunoreactivity in the dense pyramidal cell layer neuropil and dentate gyrus inner molecular layer, and increases in staining in the CA1-3 strata oriens and radiatum. In addition, this study demonstrates that the redistribution of CB1 receptor expression results in corresponding functional changes in CB1 receptor binding and G-protein activation using [3H] R+-[2,3-dihydro-5-methyl-3-[(morpholinyl)methyl]pyrrolo[1,2,3-de]-1,4-benzoxazin-yl](1-napthalen-yl)methanone mesylate (WIN55,212-2) and agonist-stimulated [35S]GTPgammaS autoradiography, respectively. The redistribution of CB1 receptor-mediated [35S]GTPgammaS binding was 1) attributed to an altered maximal effect (Emax) of WIN55,212-2 to stimulate [35S]GTPgammaS binding, 2) reversed by the CB1 receptor antagonist N-(piperidin-1-yl)-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamide hydrochloride (SR141716A), 3) confirmed by the use of other CB1 receptor agonists, and 4) not reproduced in other G-protein-coupled receptor systems examined. These results demonstrate that status epilepticus causes a unique and selective reorganization of the CB1 receptor system that persists as a permanent hippocampal neuronal plasticity change associated with the development of acquired epilepsy.

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