Involvement of Cannabinoid CB1 Receptor in Associative Learning and in Hippocampal CA3-CA1 Synaptic Plasticity

N. Madronal, A. Gruart, O. Valverde, I. Espadas, R. Moratalla, J. M. Delgado-Garcia
2011 Cerebral Cortex  
We studied, in behaving mice, the contribution of CB1 receptors to the activity-dependent changes induced at the hippocampal CA3--CA1 synapse by associative learning and following experimentally evoked long-term potentiation (LTP). Mice were classically conditioned to evoke eyelid responses with a trace paradigm using a tone as conditioned stimulus (CS) and an electric shock as unconditioned stimulus (US). Field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) were evoked at the CA3--CA1 synapse
more » ... ng the CS--US interval across training. Conditioning was performed in presence of an agonist (WIN55,212-2) alone or with an antagonist (AM251) of the CB1 receptor, injected either systemically or locally. Conditioned responses (CRs) and fEPSP potentiation were depressed by WIN55,212-2. LTP was evoked by high-frequency stimulation of Schaffer collaterals after systemic or local WIN55,212-2 and AM251 injections. WIN55,212-2 affected the induction phase of LTP, mainly when injected locally. The addition of AM251 canceled out the effects of WIN55,212-2. Similar experiments were carried out in animals lacking the CB1 receptor (CB1 2/2 mice) and following silencing of hippocampal CB1 receptors (CB1R-siRNA--injected animals). In this case, CRs (CB1 2/2 mice) and LTP (CB1 2/2 and CB1R-siRNA--injected mice) reached lower values than their respective controls. Results offer new insights for understanding CB1 receptor contribution to associative learning and to CA3--CA1 synaptic plasticity.
doi:10.1093/cercor/bhr103 pmid:21673070 fatcat:zdrxfaknwjcu3c2irq3h42ueo4