Long-term plasticity of endocannabinoid signaling induced by developmental febrile seizures.
ABSTRACT Febrile (fever-induced) seizures are the most common form of childhood seizures, affecting 3%-5% of infants and young children. Here we show that the activity-dependent, retrograde inhibition of GABA release by endogenous cannabinoids is persistently enhanced in the rat hippocampus following a single episode of experimental prolonged febrile seizures during early postnatal development. The potentiation of endocannabinoid signaling results from an increase in the number of presynaptic cannabinoid type 1 receptors associated with cholecystokinin-containing perisomatic inhibitory inputs, without an effect on the endocannabinoid-mediated inhibition of glutamate release. These results demonstrate a selective, long-term increase in the gain of endocannabinoid-mediated retrograde signaling at GABAergic synapses in a model of a human neurological disease.
Article: The expression level of CB1 and CB2 receptors determines their efficacy at inducing apoptosis in astrocytomas.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Cannabinoids represent unique compounds for treating tumors, including astrocytomas. Whether CB(1) and CB(2) receptors mediate this therapeutic effect is unclear. We generated astrocytoma subclones that express set levels of CB(1) and CB(2), and found that cannabinoids induce apoptosis only in cells expressing low levels of receptors that couple to ERK1/2. In contrast, cannabinoids do not induce apoptosis in cells expressing high levels of receptors because these now also couple to the prosurvival signal AKT. Remarkably, cannabinoids applied at high concentration induce apoptosis in all subclones independently of CB(1), CB(2) and AKT, but still through a mechanism involving ERK1/2. The high expression level of CB(1) and CB(2) receptors commonly found in malignant astrocytomas precludes the use of cannabinoids as therapeutics, unless AKT is concomitantly inhibited, or cannabinoids are applied at concentrations that bypass CB(1) and CB(2) receptors, yet still activate ERK1/2.PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(1):e8702. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Cannabinoid-mediated inhibition of recurrent excitatory circuitry in the dentate gyrus in a mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is a neurological condition associated with neuron loss, axon sprouting, and hippocampal sclerosis, which results in modified synaptic circuitry. Cannabinoids appear to be anti-convulsive in patients and animal models of TLE, but the mechanisms of this effect are not known. A pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus mouse model of TLE was used to study the effect of cannabinoid agonists on recurrent excitatory circuits of the dentate gyrus using electrophysiological recordings in hippocampal slices isolated from control mice and mice with TLE. Cannabinoid agonists WIN 55,212-2, anandamide (AEA), or 2-arachydonoylglycerol (2-AG) reduced the frequency of spontaneous and tetrodotoxin-resistant excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) in mice with TLE, but not in controls. WIN 55,212-2 also reduced the frequency of EPSCs evoked by glutamate-photolysis activation of other granule cells in epileptic mice. Secondary population discharges evoked after antidromic electrical stimulation of mossy fibers in the hilus were also attenuated by cannabinoid agonists. Agonist effects were blocked by the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R) antagonist AM251. No change in glutamate release was observed in slices from mice that did not undergo status epilepticus. Western blot analysis suggested an up-regulation of CB1R in the dentate gyrus of animals with TLE. These findings indicate that activation of CB1R present on nerve terminals can suppress recurrent excitation in the dentate gyrus of mice with TLE. This suggests a mechanism for the anti-convulsive role of cannabinoids aimed at modulating receptors on synaptic terminals expressed de novo after epileptogenesis.PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(5):e10683. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Redistribution of CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the acute and chronic phases of pilocarpine-induced epilepsy.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The endocannabinoid system plays a central role in retrograde synaptic communication and may control the spread of activity in an epileptic network. Using the pilocarpine model of temporal lobe epilepsy we examined the expression pattern of the Type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1-R) in the hippocampi of CD1 mice at survival times of 2 hours, 1 day, 3 days and 2 months (acute, latent and chronic phases). Based on the behavioral signs of the acute seizures, animals were classified as "weakly" or "strongly" epileptic using the modified Racine scale. Mice of the weak group had mild seizures, whereas seizures in the strong group were frequent with intense motor symptoms and the majority of these animals developed sclerosis in the chronic phase. In control samples the most intense staining of CB1-R-positive fibers was found in the molecular layer of the dentate gyrus and in str. pyramidale of the cornu Ammonis. In weak animals no significant changes were seen at any survival time compared to controls. In strong animals, however, in the acute phase, a massive reduction in CB1-R-stained terminals occurred in the hippocampus. In the latent phase CB1-R immunoreactivity gradually recovered. In the chronic phase, CB1-immunostaining in sclerotic samples was stronger throughout the hippocampus. Quantitative electron microscopic analysis showed an increase in the number of CB1-R-positive terminals in the dentate gyrus. Moreover, the number of immunogold particles significantly increased in GABAergic terminals. Our results suggest a proconvulsive downregulation of CB1 receptors in the acute phase most probably due to receptor internalization, followed by compensatory upregulation and sprouting in the chronic phase of epilepsy. In conclusion, the changes in CB1 receptor expression pattern revealed in this study are associated with the severity of hippocampal injury initiated by acute seizures that ultimately leads to sclerosis in the vulnerable regions in the chronic phase.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(11):e27196. · 4.09 Impact Factor