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Identification and Functional Characterization of Brainstem Cannabinoid CB₂ Receptors
- Van Sickle, Marja D., Duncan, Marnie, Kingsley, Philip J., Mouihate, Abdeslam, Urbani, Paolo, Mackie, Ken, Stella, Nephi, Makriyannis, Alexandros, Piomelli, Daniele, Davison, Joseph S., Marnett, Lawrence J., Di Marzo, Vincenzo, Pittman, Quentin J., Patel, Kamala D., Sharkey, Keith A.
- Science 2005 v.310 no.5746 pp. 329-332
- agonists, brain stem, cannabinoids, messenger RNA, neurons, receptors
- The presence and function of CB₂ receptors in central nervous system (CNS) neurons are controversial. We report the expression of CB₂ receptor messenger RNA and protein localization on brainstem neurons. These functional CB₂ receptors in the brainstem were activated by a CB₂ receptor agonist, 2-arachidonoylglycerol, and by elevated endogenous levels of endocannabinoids, which also act at CB₁ receptors. CB₂ receptors represent an alternative site of action of endocannabinoids that opens the possibility of nonpsychotropic therapeutic interventions using enhanced endocannabinoid levels in localized brain areas.