Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Pharmacol. 2006 Sep;70(3):986-96. Epub 2006 Jun 7.

Prolonged recovery rate of CB1 receptor adaptation after cessation of long-term cannabinoid administration.

Author information

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University, Medical College of Virginia Campus, Richmond, VA 23298, USA.


Long-term cannabinoid administration produces region-dependent CB1 receptor desensitization and down-regulation. This study examined the time course for normalization of CB1 receptors and G-protein activation using 3H-labeled N-(piperidin-1-yl)-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboximide hydrochloride (SR141716A) and guanosine 5'-O-(3-[35S]thio)triphosphate ([35S]GTPgammaS binding), respectively, in hippocampus and striatum/globus pallidus (GP). Mice were treated with escalating doses of Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta9-THC) or R+-[2,3-dihydro-5-methyl-3-[(morpholinyl)methyl]pyrrolo-[1,2,3-de]-1,4-benzoxazinyl]-(1-naphthalenyl)methanone mesylate (WIN55,212-2) for 15 days, and tissue was collected 1, 3, 7, or 14 days after final injection. [3H]SR141716A and WIN55,212-2-stimulated [35S]GTPgammaS binding were decreased in both regions 1 day after treatment. WIN55,212-2-stimulated G-protein activation in striatum/GP returned to control level at 3 days after cessation of treatment with either drug but did not return to control level in hippocampus until 14 days. CB1 receptor binding did not recover to control levels until day 7 or 14 after treatment in striatum/GP and hippocampus, respectively. The mechanism of CB1 binding site down-regulation was investigated after long-term Delta9-THC treatment. Analysis of CB1 receptor mRNA in hippocampus and striatum/GP showed that transcriptional regulation could not explain prolonged recovery rates from CB1 receptor down-regulation. In contrast, CB1 receptor protein, as determined by immunoblot analysis, matched the down-regulation and recovery rates of CB1 receptor binding sites relatively closely. These data demonstrate that cannabinoid-induced decreases in CB1 receptor function persist for relatively long time periods after cessation of long-term drug treatment and that CB1 receptor signaling recovers more quickly in striatum/GP than hippocampus. Moreover, down-regulation of CB1 receptor binding sites does not seem to result mainly from transcriptional regulation, suggesting that adaptive regulation of CB1 receptors in brain primarily occurs at the protein level.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center