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Front Mol Neurosci. 2018 Feb 6;11:32. doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2018.00032. eCollection 2018.

Cannabidiol Regulates Long Term Potentiation Following Status Epilepticus: Mediation by Calcium Stores and Serotonin.

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Department of Neurology, The Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Ramat Gan, Israel.
Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.
The Sagol School of Neuroscience, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.
Department of Neurobiology, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.


Epilepsy is a devastating disease, with cognitive and emotional consequences that are not curable. In recent years, it became apparent that cannabinoids help patients to cope with epilepsy. We have studied the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on the ability to produce long term potentiation (LTP) in stratum radiatum of CA1 region of the mouse hippocampus. Exposure to seizure-producing pilocarpine reduced the ability to generate LTP in the slice. Pre-exposure to CBD prevented this effect of pilocarpine. Furthermore, CBD caused a marked increase in ability to generate LTP, an effect that was blocked by calcium store antagonists as well as by a reduction in serotonin tone. Serotonin, possibly acting at a 5HT1A receptor, or fenfluramine (FFA), which causes release of serotonin from its native terminals, mimicked the effect of CBD. It is proposed that CBD enhances non-NMDA LTP in the slice by facilitating release of serotonin from terminals, consequently ameliorating the detrimental effects of pilocarpine.


LTP; cannabidiol; hippocampus; serotonin; status epilepticus; synaptic plasticity

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