ABSTRACT: Recent studies show contradictory results regarding the contribution of endocannabinoids in fear memory formation and long-term synaptic plasticity. In this study, we investigated the effects of both cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1 receptor) antagonist AM281 and anandamide reuptake inhibitor AM404 on the formation of contextual fear memory in adult mice. Both i.p. and intra-hippocampal injections of AM281 promoted contextual fear memory while a high dose of AM404 inhibited it. These findings demonstrate that CB1 receptor-mediated signaling negatively contributes to contextual fear memory formation. We further investigated the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) in CA1 pyramidal neurons of hippocampal slices and found that AM281 impaired the induction of LTP. Additionally, the blockade of LTP by AM281 was completely prevented by bath application of picrotoxin, a selective antagonist of GABA(A) receptor. Taken together, these results indicate that activation of CB1 receptor contributes to induction of LTP via a GABA(A) receptor-mediated mechanism.
Brain research bulletin 07/2011; 86(3-4):139-45. · 2.18 Impact Factor