IF du Neurocentre

169 publications

* equal contribution
Les IF indiqués ont été collectés par le Web of Sciences en Juin 2020

19/03/2021 | Neuron   IF 14.4
Subcellular specificity of cannabinoid effects in striatonigral circuits.
Soria-Gomez E, Pagano Zottola AC, Mariani Y, Desprez T, Barresi M, Bonilla-Del Rio I, Muguruza C, Le Bon-Jego M, Julio-Kalajzic F, Flynn R, Terral G, Fernandez-Moncada I, Robin LM, Oliveira da Cruz JF, Corinti S, Amer YO, Goncalves J, Varilh M, Cannich A, Redon B, Zhao Z, Leste-Lasserre T, Vincent P, Tolentino-Cortes T, Busquets-Garcia A, Puente N, Bains JS, Hebert-Chatelain E, Barreda-Gomez G, Chaouloff F, Lohman AW, Callado LF, Grandes P, Baufreton J, Marsicano G, Bellocchio L

Recent advances in neuroscience have positioned brain circuits as key units in controlling behavior, implying that their positive or negative modulation necessarily leads to specific behavioral outcomes. However, emerging evidence suggests that the activation or inhibition of specific brain circuits can actually produce multimodal behavioral outcomes. This study shows that activation of a receptor at different subcellular locations in the same neuronal circuit can determine distinct behaviors. Pharmacological activation of type 1 cannabinoid (CB1) receptors in the striatonigral circuit elicits both antinociception and catalepsy in mice. The decrease in nociception depends on the activation of plasma membrane-residing CB1 receptors (pmCB1), leading to the inhibition of cytosolic PKA activity and substance P release. By contrast, mitochondrial-associated CB1 receptors (mtCB1) located at the same terminals mediate cannabinoid-induced catalepsy through the decrease in intra-mitochondrial PKA-dependent cellular respiration and synaptic transmission. Thus, subcellular-specific CB1 receptor signaling within striatonigral circuits determines multimodal control of behavior.

18/03/2021 | Nat Neurosci   IF 20.1
Spinal astroglial cannabinoid receptors control pathological tremor.
Carlsen EMM, Falk S, Skupio U, Robin L, Zottola ACP, Marsicano G, Perrier JF

Cannabinoids reduce tremor associated with motor disorders induced by injuries and neurodegenerative disease. Here we show that this effect is mediated by cannabinoid receptors on astrocytes in the ventral horn of the spinal cord, where alternating limb movements are initiated. We first demonstrate that tremor is reduced in a mouse model of essential tremor after intrathecal injection of the cannabinoid analog WIN55,212-2. We investigate the underlying mechanism using electrophysiological recordings in spinal cord slices and show that endocannabinoids released from depolarized interneurons activate astrocytic cannabinoid receptors, causing an increase in intracellular Ca(2+), subsequent release of purines and inhibition of excitatory neurotransmission. Finally, we show that the anti-tremor action of WIN55,212-2 in the spinal cords of mice is suppressed after knocking out CB1 receptors in astrocytes. Our data suggest that cannabinoids reduce tremor via their action on spinal astrocytes.

03/11/2020 | Diabetes   IF 7.7
CB1 and GLP-1 Receptors Cross-Talk Provides New Therapies for Obesity.
Zizzari P, He R, Falk S, Bellocchio L, Allard C, Clark S, Lest, Quarta C

GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonists effectively improve glycemia and body weight in patients with type 2 diabetes and obesity, but have limited weight-lowering efficacy and minimal insulin sensitizing action. In preclinical models, peripherally-restricted cannabinoid-1 receptor (CB1R) inhibitors, which are devoid of the neuropsychiatric side-effects observed with brain-penetrant CB1R blockers, ameliorate obesity and its multiple metabolic complications. Using mouse models with genetic loss of CB1R or GLP-1R, we demonstrate that these two metabolic receptors modulate food intake and body weight via reciprocal functional interactions. In diet-induced obese mice, the co-administration of a peripheral CB1R inhibitor with long-acting GLP-1R agonists achieves greater reduction in body weight and fat mass than monotherapies, by promoting negative energy balance. This co-treatment also results in larger improvements in systemic and hepatic insulin action, systemic dyslipidemia, and reduction of hepatic steatosis. Thus, peripheral CB1R blockade may allow safely potentiating the anti-obesity and anti-diabetic effects of currently available GLP-1R agonists.

05/10/2020 | Addict Biol   IF 4.1
Exercise craving potentiates excitatory inputs to ventral tegmental area dopaminergic neurons.
Medrano MC, Hurel I, Mesguich E, Redon B, Stevens C, Georges F, Melis M, Marsicano G, Chaouloff F

Physical exercise, which can be addictogenic on its own, is considered a therapeutic alternative for drug craving. Exercise might thus share with drugs the ability to strengthen excitatory synapses onto ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopaminergic neurones, as assessed by the ratio of AMPA receptor (AMPAR)-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) to NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated EPSCs. As did acute cocaine, amphetamine, or Delta(9) -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) pretreatments, an acute 1-h wheel-running session increased the AMPAR/NMDAR ratio in VTA dopaminergic neurones. To dissect the respective influences of wheel-running seeking and performance, mice went through an operant protocol wherein wheel-running was conditioned by nose poking under fixed ratio schedules of reinforcement. Conditioned wheel-running increased the AMPAR/NMDAR ratio to a higher extent than free wheel-running, doing so although running performance was lower in the former paradigm than in the latter. Thus, the cue-reward association, rather than reward consumption, played a major role in this increase. The AMPAR/NMDAR ratio returned to baseline levels in mice that had extinguished the cued-running motivated task, but it increased after a cue-induced reinstatement session. The amplitude of this increase correlated with the intensity of exercise craving, as assessed by individual nose poke scores. Finally, cue-induced reinstatement of running seeking proved insensitive to acute cocaine or THC pretreatments. Our study reveals for the first time that the drive for exercise bears synaptic influences on VTA dopaminergic neurones which are reminiscent of drug actions. Whether these influences play a role in the therapeutic effects of exercise in human drug craving remains to be established.

30/09/2020 | Curr Biol   IF 9.6
A Novel Cortical Mechanism for Top-Down Control of Water Intake.
Zhao Z, Soria-Gomez E, Varilh M, Covelo A, Julio-Kalajzic F, Cannich A, Castiglione A, Vanhoutte L, Duveau A, Zizzari P, Beyeler A, Cota D, Bellocchio L, Busquets-Garcia A, Marsicano G

Water intake is crucial for maintaining body fluid homeostasis and animals' survival [1-4]. In the brain, complex processes trigger thirst and drinking behavior [1-5]. The anterior wall of the third ventricle formed by the subfornical organ (SFO), the median preoptic nucleus, and the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis (OVLT) constitute the primary structures sensing thirst signals and modulating water intake [6-10]. These subcortical regions are connected with the neocortex [11]. In particular, insular and anterior cingulate cortices (IC and ACC, respectively) have been shown to receive indirect innervations from the SFO and OVLT in rats [11] and to be involved in the control of water intake [12-15]. Type-1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1) modulate consummatory behaviors, such as feeding [16-26]. However, the role of CB1 receptors in the control of water intake is still a matter of debate [27-31]. Here, we show that endogenous activation of CB1 in cortical glutamatergic neurons of the ACC promotes water intake. Notably, presynaptic CB1 receptors of ACC glutamatergic neurons are abundantly located in the basolateral amygdala (BLA), a key area in the regulation of water intake. The selective expression of CB1 receptors in the ACC-to-BLA-projecting neurons is sufficient to stimulate drinking behavior. Moreover, chemogenetic stimulation of these projecting neurons suppresses drinking behavior, further supporting the role of this neuronal population in the control of water intake. Altogether, these data reveal a novel cortico-amygdalar mechanism involved in the regulation of drinking behavior.

26/09/2020 | autophagy   IF 9.8
Cannabinoid-induced motor dysfunction via autophagy inhibition.
Blazquez C, Ruiz-Calvo A, Bajo-Graneras R, Baufreton JM, Resel E, Varilh M, Pagano Zottola AC, Mariani Y, Cannich A, Rodriguez-Navarro JA, Marsicano G, Galve-Roperh I, Bellocchio L, Guzman M

The recreational and medical use of cannabis is largely increasing worldwide. Cannabis use, however, can cause adverse side effects, so conducting innovative studies aimed to understand and potentially reduce cannabis-evoked harms is important. Previous research conducted on cultured neural cells had supported that CNR1/CB1R (cannabinoid receptor 1), the main molecular target of cannabis, affects macroautophagy/autophagy. However, it was not known whether CNR1 controls autophagy in the brain in vivo, and, eventually, what the functional consequences of a potential CNR1-autophagy connection could be. We have now found that Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major intoxicating constituent of cannabis, impairs autophagy in the mouse striatum. Administration of autophagy activators (specifically, the rapalog temsirolimus and the disaccharide trehalose) rescues THC-induced autophagy inhibition and motor dyscoordination. The combination of various genetic strategies in vivo supports the idea that CNR1 molecules located on neurons belonging to the direct (striatonigral) pathway are required for the autophagy- and motor-impairing activity of THC. By identifying autophagy as a mechanistic link between THC and motor performance, our findings may open a new conceptual view on how cannabis acts in the brain.

21/09/2020 | Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry   IF 4.4
Cannabis and exercise: Effects of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol on preference and motivation for wheel-running in mice.
Hurel I, Muguruza C, Redon B, Marsicano G, Chaouloff F

Recent surveys have revealed close links between cannabis and exercise. Specifically, cannabis usage before and/or after exercise is an increasingly common habit primarily aimed at boosting exercise pleasure, motivation, and performance whilst facilitating post-exercise recovery. However, whether these beliefs reflect the true impact of cannabis on these aspects of exercise is unknown. This study has thus examined the effects of cannabis' main psychoactive ingredient, namely Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), on (i) mouse wheel-running preference and performance and (ii) running motivation and seeking behaviour. Wheel-running preference and performance were investigated using a T-maze with free and locked wheels located at the extremity of either arm. Running motivation and seeking were assessed by a cued-running operant task wherein wheel-running was conditioned by nose poking. Moreover, because THC targets cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors, i.e. receptors previously documented to control running motivation, this study also assessed the role of these receptors in running preference, performance, and craving-like behaviour. Whilst acute blockade or genetic deletion of CB1 receptors decreased running preference and performance in the T-maze, THC proved ineffective on either variable. The failure of THC to affect running variables in the T-maze extended to running motivation, as assessed by cued-running under a progressive ratio (PR) reinforcement schedule. This ineffectiveness of THC was not related to the treatment protocol because it successfully increased motivation for palatable food. Although craving-like behaviour, as indexed by a cue-induced reinstatement of running seeking, was found to depend on CB1 receptors, THC again proved ineffective. Neither running motivation nor running seeking were affected when CB1 receptors were further stimulated by increasing the levels of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol. These results, which suggest that the drive for running is insensitive to the acute stimulation of CB1 receptors, raise the hypothesis that cannabis is devoid of effect on exercise motivation. Future investigation using chronic administration of THC, with and without other cannabis ingredients (e.g. cannabidiol), is however required before conclusions can be drawn.

18/08/2020 | Cell Rep   IF 8.1
Specific Hippocampal Interneurons Shape Consolidation of Recognition Memory.
Oliveira da Cruz JF, Busquets-Garcia A, Zhao Z, Varilh M, Lavanco G, Bellocchio L, Robin L, Cannich A, Julio-Kalajzic F, Leste-Lasserre T, Maitre M, Drago F, Marsicano G, Soria-Gomez E

A complex array of inhibitory interneurons tightly controls hippocampal activity, but how such diversity specifically affects memory processes is not well understood. We find that a small subclass of type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1R)-expressing hippocampal interneurons determines episodic-like memory consolidation by linking dopamine D1 receptor (D1R) signaling to GABAergic transmission. Mice lacking CB1Rs in D1-positive cells (D1-CB1-KO) display impairment in long-term, but not short-term, novel object recognition memory (NOR). Re-expression of CB1Rs in hippocampal D1R-positive cells rescues this NOR deficit. Learning induces an enhancement of in vivo hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), which is absent in mutant mice. CB1R-mediated NOR and the associated LTP facilitation involve local control of GABAergic inhibition in a D1-dependent manner. This study reveals that hippocampal CB1R-/D1R-expressing interneurons control NOR memory, identifying a mechanism linking the diversity of hippocampal interneurons to specific behavioral outcomes.

10/08/2020 | eLife   IF 7.1
Inhibition of striatonigral autophagy as a link between cannabinoid intoxication and impairment of motor coordination.
Blazquez C, Ruiz-Calvo A, Bajo-Graneras R, Baufreton JM, Resel E, Varilh M, Pagano Zottola AC, Mariani Y, Cannich A, Rodriguez-Navarro JA, Marsicano G, Galve-Roperh I, Bellocchio L, Guzman M

The use of cannabis is rapidly expanding worldwide. Thus, innovative studies aimed to identify, understand and potentially reduce cannabis-evoked harms are warranted. Here, we found that Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient of cannabis, disrupts autophagy selectively in the striatum, a brain area that controls motor behavior, both in vitro and in vivo. Boosting autophagy, either pharmacologically (with temsirolimus) or by dietary intervention (with trehalose), rescued the Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol-induced impairment of motor coordination in mice. The combination of conditional knockout mouse models and viral vector-mediated autophagy-modulating strategies in vivo showed that cannabinoid CB1 receptors located on neurons belonging to the direct (striatonigral) pathway are required for the motor-impairing activity of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol by inhibiting local autophagy. Taken together, these findings identify inhibition of autophagy as an unprecedented mechanistic link between cannabinoids and motor performance, and suggest that activators of autophagy might be considered as potential therapeutic tools to treat specific cannabinoid-evoked behavioral alterations.

03/08/2020 | Addict Biol   IF 4.1
Sex-dependent pharmacological profiles of the synthetic cannabinoid MMB-Fubinaca.
Oliveira da Cruz JF, Ioannidou C, Pagano Zottola AC, Muguruza C, Gomez-Sotres P, Fernandez M, Callado LF, Marsicano G, Busquets-Garcia A

Synthetic cannabinoids have emerged as novel psychoactive substances with damaging consequences for public health. They exhibit high affinity at the cannabinoid type-1 (CB1 ) receptor and produce similar and often more potent effects as other CB1 receptor agonists. However, we are still far from a complete pharmacological understanding of these compounds. In this study, by using behavioral, molecular, pharmacological, and electrophysiological approaches, we aimed at characterizing several in vitro and in vivo pharmacological effects of the synthetic cannabinoid MMB-Fubinaca (also known as AMB-Fubinaca or FUB-AMB), a particular synthetic cannabinoid. MMB-Fubinaca stimulates CB1 receptor-mediated functional coupling to G-proteins in mouse and human brain preparations in a similar manner as the CB1 receptor agonist WIN55,512-2 but with a much greater potency. Both drugs similarly activate the CB1 receptor-dependent extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway. Notably, in vivo administration of MMB-Fubinaca in mice induced greater behavioral and electrophysiological effects in male than in female mice in a CB1 receptor-dependent manner. Overall, these data provide a solid pharmacological profiling of the effects of MMB-Fubinaca and important information about the mechanisms of action underlying its harmful impact in humans. At the same time, they reinforce the significant sexual dimorphism of cannabinoid actions, which will have to be taken into account in future animal and clinical studies.

08/07/2020 | Nature   IF 42.8
Glucose metabolism links astroglial mitochondria to cannabinoid effects.
Jimenez-Blasco D, Busquets-Garcia A, Hebert-Chatelain E, Serrat R, Vicente-Gutierrez C, Ioannidou C, G, Marsicano G

Astrocytes take up glucose from the bloodstream to provide energy to the brain, thereby allowing neuronal activity and behavioural responses(1-5). By contrast, astrocytes are under neuronal control through specific neurotransmitter receptors(5-7). However, whether the activation of astroglial receptors can directly regulate cellular glucose metabolism to eventually modulate behavioural responses is unclear. Here we show that activation of mouse astroglial type-1 cannabinoid receptors associated with mitochondrial membranes (mtCB(1)) hampers the metabolism of glucose and the production of lactate in the brain, resulting in altered neuronal functions and, in turn, impaired behavioural responses in social interaction assays. Specifically, activation of astroglial mtCB(1) receptors reduces the phosphorylation of the mitochondrial complex I subunit NDUFS4, which decreases the stability and activity of complex I. This leads to a reduction in the generation of reactive oxygen species by astrocytes and affects the glycolytic production of lactate through the hypoxia-inducible factor 1 pathway, eventually resulting in neuronal redox stress and impairment of behavioural responses in social interaction assays. Genetic and pharmacological correction of each of these effects abolishes the effect of cannabinoid treatment on the observed behaviour. These findings suggest that mtCB(1) receptor signalling can directly regulate astroglial glucose metabolism to fine-tune neuronal activity and behaviour in mice.

18/05/2020 | Nat Commun   IF 12.1
Author Correction: Structural basis of astrocytic Ca(2+) signals at tripartite synapses.
Arizono M, Inavalli VVGK, Panatier A, Pfeiffer T, Angibaud J, Levet F, Veer MJTT, Stobart J, Bellocchio L, Mikoshiba K, Marsicano G, Weber B, Oliet SHR, Nagerl UV

An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.

01/05/2020 | Neuroscience   IF 3.1
Synaptic Functions of Type-1 Cannabinoid Receptors in Inhibitory Circuits of the Anterior Piriform Cortex.
Terral G, Varilh M, Cannich A, Massa F, Ferreira G, Marsicano G

In the olfactory system, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates sensory perception and memory. A major structure involved in these processes is the anterior piriform cortex (aPC), but the impact of ECS signaling in aPC circuitry is still scantly characterized. Using ex vivo patch clamp experiments in mice and neuroanatomical approaches, we show that the two major forms of ECS-dependent synaptic plasticity, namely depolarization-dependent suppression of inhibition (DSI) and long-term depression of inhibitory transmission (iLTD) are present in the aPC. Interestingly, iLTD expression depends on layer localization of the inhibitory neurons associated with the expression of the neuropeptide cholecystokinin. Conversely, the decrease of inhibitory transmission induced by exogenous cannabinoid agonists or DSI do not seem to be impacted by these factors. Altogether, these results indicate that CB1 receptors exert an anatomically specific and differential control of inhibitory plasticity in the aPC, likely involved in spatiotemporal regulation of olfactory processes.

20/04/2020 | Nat Commun   IF 12.1
Structural basis of astrocytic Ca(2+) signals at tripartite synapses.
Arizono M, Inavalli VVGK, Panatier A, Pfeiffer T, Angibaud J, Levet F, Ter Veer MJT, Stobart J, Bellocchio L, Mikoshiba K, Marsicano G, Weber B, Oliet SHR, Nagerl UV

Astrocytic Ca(2+) signals can be fast and local, supporting the idea that astrocytes have the ability to regulate single synapses. However, the anatomical basis of such specific signaling remains unclear, owing to difficulties in resolving the spongiform domain of astrocytes where most tripartite synapses are located. Using 3D-STED microscopy in living organotypic brain slices, we imaged the spongiform domain of astrocytes and observed a reticular meshwork of nodes and shafts that often formed loop-like structures. These anatomical features were also observed in acute hippocampal slices and in barrel cortex in vivo. The majority of dendritic spines were contacted by nodes and their sizes were correlated. FRAP experiments and Ca(2+) imaging showed that nodes were biochemical compartments and Ca(2+) microdomains. Mapping astrocytic Ca(2+) signals onto STED images of nodes and dendritic spines showed they were associated with individual synapses. Here, we report on the nanoscale organization of astrocytes, identifying nodes as a functional astrocytic component of tripartite synapses that may enable synapse-specific communication between neurons and astrocytes.

16/04/2020 | genes (basel)   IF 3.8
Cannabinoid Control of Olfactory Processes: The Where Matters.
Terral G, Marsicano G, Grandes P, Soria-Gomez E

Olfaction has a direct influence on behavior and cognitive processes. There are different neuromodulatory systems in olfactory circuits that control the sensory information flowing through the rest of the brain. The presence of the cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptor, (the main cannabinoid receptor in the brain), has been shown for more than 20 years in different brain olfactory areas. However, only over the last decade have we started to know the specific cellular mechanisms that link cannabinoid signaling to olfactory processing and the control of behavior. In this review, we aim to summarize and discuss our current knowledge about the presence of CB1 receptors, and the function of the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of different olfactory brain circuits and related behaviors.

07/01/2020 | Neuron   IF 14.4
Dopamine-Evoked Synaptic Regulation in the Nucleus Accumbens Requires Astrocyte Activity.
Corkrum M, Covelo A, Lines J, Bellocchio L, Pisansky M, Loke K, Quintana R, Rothwell PE, Lujan R, Marsicano G, Martin ED, Thomas MJ, Kofuji P, Araque A

Dopamine is involved in physiological processes like learning and memory, motor control and reward, and pathological conditions such as Parkinson's disease and addiction. In contrast to the extensive studies on neurons, astrocyte involvement in dopaminergic signaling remains largely unknown. Using transgenic mice, optogenetics, and pharmacogenetics, we studied the role of astrocytes on the dopaminergic system. We show that in freely behaving mice, astrocytes in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a key reward center in the brain, respond with Ca(2+) elevations to synaptically released dopamine, a phenomenon enhanced by amphetamine. In brain slices, synaptically released dopamine increases astrocyte Ca(2+), stimulates ATP/adenosine release, and depresses excitatory synaptic transmission through activation of presynaptic A1 receptors. Amphetamine depresses neurotransmission through stimulation of astrocytes and the consequent A1 receptor activation. Furthermore, astrocytes modulate the acute behavioral psychomotor effects of amphetamine. Therefore, astrocytes mediate the dopamine- and amphetamine-induced synaptic regulation, revealing a novel cellular pathway in the brain reward system.

09/12/2019 | J Neurosci Methods   IF 2.8
Alpha technology: A powerful tool to detect mouse brain intracellular signaling events.
Zanese M*, Tomaselli G*, Roullot-Lacarriere V, Moreau M, Bellocchio L, Grel A, Marsicano G, Sans N, Vallee M, Revest JM

BACKGROUND: Phosphorylation by protein kinases is a fundamental molecular process involved in the regulation of signaling activities in living organisms. Understanding this complex network of phosphorylation, especially phosphoproteins, is a necessary step for grasping the basis of cellular pathophysiology. Studying brain intracellular signaling is a particularly complex task due to the heterogeneous complex nature of the brain tissue, which consists of many embedded structures. NEW METHOD: Overcoming this degree of complexity requires a technology with a high throughput and economical in the amount of biological material used, so that a large number of signaling pathways may be analyzed in a large number of samples. We have turned to Alpha (Amplified Luminescent Proximity Homogeneous Assay) technology. COMPARISON WITH EXISTING METHOD: Western blot is certainly the most commonly used method to measure the phosphorylation state of proteins. Even though Western blot is an accurate and reliable method for analyzing modifications of proteins, it is a time-consuming and large amounts of samples are required. Those two parameters are critical when the goal of the research is to comprehend multi-signaling proteic events so as to analyze several targets from small brain areas. RESULT: Here we demonstrate that Alpha technology is particularly suitable for studying brain signaling pathways by allowing rapid, sensitive, reproducible and semi-quantitative detection of phosphoproteins from individual mouse brain tissue homogenates and from cell fractionation and synaptosomal preparations of mouse hippocampus. CONCLUSION: Alpha technology represents a major experimental step forward in unraveling the brain phosphoprotein-related molecular mechanisms involved in brain-related disorders.

24/10/2019 | Psychoneuroendocrinology   IF 4
The ergogenic impact of the glucocorticoid prednisolone does not translate into increased running motivation in mice.
Redon B, Violleau C, Georges F, Marsicano G, Chaouloff F

Glucocorticoids, such as prednisolone, are considered sport doping agents owing to their ergogenic properties. These are accounted for by peripheral mechanisms associated with energetic and anti-inflammatory processes. However, because glucocorticoids target brain tissues, it is likely that these ergogenic impacts are associated with central effects. One of these might be reward motivation, which relies on glucocorticoid receptor-expressing mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic neurons. In keeping with this possibility, this study has explored in mice whether repeated prednisolone administration (5 or 15mug/ml of drinking water for 10 days) affected intrinsic motivation for running, a strong reinforcer in rodents. Running motivation was assessed by means of a cued-reward motivated instrumental task wherein wheel-running was conditioned by prior nose poke responses under fixed (FR), and then progressive (PR), ratio reinforcement schedules. Sub-chronic ingestion of prednisolone decreased the running distance covered during each rewarded sequence under FR schedules. This finding did not extend to wheel-running performances in mice provided free (i.e. unconditioned) wheel-running opportunities. Running motivation, as estimated under a PR reinforcement schedule, was found to be decreased (lowest concentration) or to remain unaffected (highest concentration) by prednisolone concentration. Lastly, an inter-individual analysis of the respective effects of prednisolone on muscular endurance (as assessed in the wire grid-hanging test) and on running motivation indicated that the former was not predictive of the latter. This observation suggests that prednisolone ergogenic impacts might occur without any concomitant increase in intrinsic exercise motivation.

11/08/2019 | j pers   IF 3.1
Stability and change of basic personal values in early adolescence: A 2-year longitudinal study.
Vecchione M, Schwartz SH, Davidov E, Cieciuch J, Alessandri G, Marsicano G

OBJECTIVE: We examined patterns of change and stability in the whole set of 10 Schwartz values over 2 years during early adolescence. METHOD: Participants completed the Portrait Values Questionnaire repeatedly throughout the junior high school years. The study involved six waves of data and a total of 382 respondents aged 10 years at the first measurement occasion (43% female). We investigated multiple types of stability in the values: mean-level, rank-order, and ipsative stability. RESULTS: At the mean-level, self-enhancement, and Openness to change values increased in importance. Self-direction and hedonism values showed the greatest increase-about one-third of a standard deviation. Conservation and self-transcendence values did not change with the exception of tradition, which decreased slightly. After correcting for measurement error, rank-order stability coefficients ranged from .39 (hedonism) to .77 (power). Correlations between value hierarchies measured 2 years apart were >/=.85 for 75% of respondents, and </=.12 for 5% of the respondents. Thus only a small proportion of participants experienced a marked change in the relative importance they ascribed to the 10 values. CONCLUSIONS: Results are discussed and related to earlier findings on patterns and magnitude of value change during other periods of the life span.

OBJECTIVE: The hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) is a key target of the melanocortin system, which orchestrates behavioral and metabolic responses depending on energy availability. The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) and the endocannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R) pathways are two key signaling systems involved in the regulation of energy balance whose activity closely depends upon energy availability. Here we tested the hypothesis that modulation of mTORC1 and CB1R signaling regulates excitatory glutamatergic inputs onto the PVN. METHODS: Patch-clamp recordings in C57BL/6J mice, in mice lacking the mTORC1 component Rptor or CB1R in pro-opio-melanocortin (POMC) neurons, combined with pharmacology targeting mTORC1, the melanocortin receptor type 4 (MC4R), or the endocannabinoid system under chow or a hypercaloric diet. RESULTS: Acute pharmacological inhibition of mTORC1 in C57BL/6J mice decreased glutamatergic inputs onto the PVN via a mechanism requiring modulation of MC4R, endocannabinoid 2-AG mobilization by PVN parvocellular neurons, and retrograde activation of presynaptic CB1R. Further electrophysiology studies using mice lacking mTORC1 activity or CB1R in POMC neurons indicated that the observed effects involved mTORC1 and CB1R-dependent regulation of glutamate release from POMC neurons. Finally, energy surfeit caused by hypercaloric high-fat diet feeding, rapidly and time-dependently altered the glutamatergic inputs onto parvocellular neurons and the ability of mTORC1 and CB1R signaling to modulate such excitatory activity. CONCLUSIONS: These findings pinpoint the relationship between mTORC1 and endocannabinoid-CB1R signaling in the regulation of the POMC-mediated glutamatergic inputs onto PVN parvocellular neurons and its rapid alteration in conditions favoring the development of obesity.

02/07/2019 | Curr Biol   IF 9.2
CB1 Receptors in the Anterior Piriform Cortex Control Odor Preference Memory.
Terral G, Busquets-Garcia A, Varilh M, Achicallende S, Cannich A, Bellocchio L, Bonilla-Del Rio I, Massa F, Puente N, Soria-Gomez E, Grandes P, Ferreira G, Marsicano G

The retrieval of odor-related memories shapes animal behavior. The anterior piriform cortex (aPC) is the largest part of the olfactory cortex, and it plays important roles in olfactory processing and memory. However, it is still unclear whether specific cellular mechanisms in the aPC control olfactory memory, depending on the appetitive or aversive nature of the stimuli involved. Cannabinoid-type 1 (CB1) receptors are present in the aPC (aPC-CB1), but their potential impact on olfactory memory was never explored. Here, we used a combination of behavioral, genetic, anatomical, and electrophysiological approaches to characterize the functions of aPC-CB1 receptors in the regulation of appetitive and aversive olfactory memory. Pharmacological blockade or genetic deletion of aPC-CB1 receptors specifically impaired the retrieval of conditioned odor preference (COP). Interestingly, expression of conditioned odor aversion (COA) was unaffected by local CB1 receptor blockade, indicating that the role of aPC endocannabinoid signaling is selective for retrieval of appetitive memory. Anatomical investigations revealed that CB1 receptors are highly expressed on aPC GABAergic interneurons, and ex vivo electrophysiological recordings showed that their pharmacological activation reduces miniature inhibitory post-synaptic currents (mIPSCs) onto aPC semilunar (SL), but not pyramidal principal neurons. COP retrieval, but not COA, was associated with a specific CB1-receptor-dependent decrease of mIPSCs in SL cells. Altogether, these data indicate that aPC-CB1 receptor-dependent mechanisms physiologically control the retrieval of olfactory memory, depending on odor valence and engaging modulation of local inhibitory transmission.

07/03/2019 | JCI Insight   IF 6
The motivation for exercise over palatable food is dictated by cannabinoid type-1 receptors.
Muguruza C, Redon B, Fois GR, Hurel I, Scocard A, Nguyen C, Stevens C, Soria-Gomez E, Varilh M, Cannich A, Daniault J, Busquets-Garcia A, Pelliccia T, Caille S, Georges F, Marsicano G, Chaouloff F

The lack of intrinsic motivation to engage in, and adhere to, physical exercise has major health consequences. However, the neurobiological bases of exercise motivation are still unknown. This study aimed at examining whether the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is involved in this process. To do so, we developed an operant conditioning paradigm wherein mice unlocked a running wheel with nose pokes. Using pharmacological tools and conditional mutants for cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptors, we provide evidence that CB1 receptors located on GABAergic neurons are both necessary and sufficient to positively control running motivation. Conversely, this receptor population proved dispensable for the modulation of running duration per rewarded sequence. Although the ECS mediated the motivation for another reward, namely palatable food, such a regulation was independent from CB1 receptors on GABAergic neurons. In addition, we report that the lack of CB1 receptors on GABAergic neurons decreases the preference for running over palatable food when mice were proposed an exclusive choice between the two rewards. Beyond providing a paradigm that enables motivation processes for exercise to be dissected either singly or in concurrence, this study is the first to our knowledge to identify a neurobiological mechanism that might contribute to sedentary behavior.

2019 | front pharmacol   IF 3.8
Beyond the Activity-Based Anorexia Model: Reinforcing Values of Exercise and Feeding Examined in Stressed Adolescent Male and Female Mice.
Hurel I, Redon B, Scocard A, Malezieux M, Marsicano G, Chaouloff F

Anorexia nervosa (AN), mostly observed in female adolescents, is the most fatal mental illness. Its core is a motivational imbalance between exercise and feeding in favor of the former. The most privileged animal model of AN is the 'activity-based anorexia' (ABA) model wherein partly starved rodents housed with running wheels exercise at the expense of feeding. However, the ABA model bears face and construct validity limits, including its inability to specifically assess running motivation and feeding motivation. As infant/adolescent trauma is a precipitating factor in AN, this study first analyzed post-weaning isolation rearing (PWIR) impacts on body weights and wheel-running performances in female mice exposed to an ABA protocol. Next, we studied through operant conditioning protocols i) whether food restriction affects in a sex-dependent manner running motivation before ii) investigating how PWIR and sex affect running and feeding drives under ad libitum fed conditions and food restriction. Besides amplifying ABA-elicited body weight reductions, PWIR stimulated wheel-running activities in anticipation of feeding in female mice, suggesting increased running motivation. To confirm this hypothesis, we used a cued-reward motivated instrumental task wherein wheel-running was conditioned by prior nose poke responses. It was first observed that food restriction increased running motivation in male, but not female, mice. When fed grouped and PWIR mice were tested for their running and palatable feeding drives, all mice, excepted PWIR males, displayed increased nose poke responses for running over feeding. This was true when rewards were proposed alone or within a concurrent test. The increased preference for running over feeding in fed females did not extend to running performances (time, distance) during each rewarded sequence, confirming that motivation for, and performance during, running are independent entities. With food restriction, mice displayed a sex-independent increase in their preference for feeding over running in both group-housed and PWIR conditions. This study shows that the ABA model does not specifically capture running and feeding drives, i.e. components known to be affected in AN.

23/08/2018 | Neuron   IF 14.3
Hippocampal CB1 Receptors Control Incidental Associations.
Busquets-Garcia A, Oliveira da Cruz JF, Terral G, Zottola ACP, Soria-Gomez E, Contini A, Martin H, Redon B, Varilh M, Ioannidou C, Drago F, Massa F, Fioramonti X, Trifilieff P, Ferreira G, Marsicano G

By priming brain circuits, associations between low-salience stimuli often guide future behavioral choices through a process known as mediated or inferred learning. However, the precise neurobiological mechanisms of these incidental associations are largely unknown. Using sensory preconditioning procedures, we show that type 1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1R) in hippocampal GABAergic neurons are necessary and sufficient for mediated but not direct learning. Deletion and re-expression of CB1R in hippocampal GABAergic neurons abolishes and rescues mediated learning, respectively. Interestingly, paired presentations of low-salience sensory cues induce a specific protein synthesis-dependent enhancement of hippocampal CB1R expression and facilitate long-term synaptic plasticity at inhibitory synapses. CB1R blockade or chemogenetic manipulations of hippocampal GABAergic neurons upon preconditioning affect incidental associations, as revealed by impaired mediated learning. Thus, CB1R-dependent control of inhibitory hippocampal neurotransmission mediates incidental associations, allowing future associative inference, a fundamental process for everyday life, which is altered in major neuropsychiatric diseases.

06/06/2018 | Neuron   IF 14.3
Astroglial CB1 Receptors Determine Synaptic D-Serine Availability to Enable Recognition Memory.
Robin LM*, Cruz J*, Oliveira da Cruz JF, Langlais VC, Martin-Fernandez M, Metna-Laurent M, Busquets-Garcia A, Bellocchio L, Soria-Gomez E, Papouin T, Varilh M, Sherwood MW, Belluomo I, Balcells G, Matias I, Bosier B, Drago F, Van Eeckhaut A, Smolders I, Georges F, Araque A, Panatier A, Oliet SHR*, Marsicano G*

Bidirectional communication between neurons and astrocytes shapes synaptic plasticity and behavior. D-serine is a necessary co-agonist of synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs), but the physiological factors regulating its impact on memory processes are scantly known. We show that astroglial CB1 receptors are key determinants of object recognition memory by determining the availability of D-serine at hippocampal synapses. Mutant mice lacking CB1 receptors from astroglial cells (GFAP-CB1-KO) displayed impaired object recognition memory and decreased in vivo and in vitro long-term potentiation (LTP) at CA3-CA1 hippocampal synapses. Activation of CB1 receptors increased intracellular astroglial Ca(2+) levels and extracellular levels of D-serine in hippocampal slices. Accordingly, GFAP-CB1-KO displayed lower occupancy of the co-agonist binding site of synaptic hippocampal NMDARs. Finally, elevation of D-serine levels fully rescued LTP and memory impairments of GFAP-CB1-KO mice. These data reveal a novel mechanism of in vivo astroglial control of memory and synaptic plasticity via the D-serine-dependent control of NMDARs.

26/02/2018 | Glia   IF 5.8
Localization of the cannabinoid type-1 receptor in subcellular astrocyte compartments of mutant mouse hippocampus.
Gutierrez-Rodriguez A, Bonilla-Del Rio I, Puente N, Gomez-Urquijo SM, Fontaine CJ, Egana-Huguet J, Elezgarai I, Ruehle S, Lutz B, Robin LM, Soria-Gomez E, Bellocchio L, Padwal JD, van der Stelt M, Mendizabal-Zubiaga J, Reguero L, Ramos A, Gerrikagoitia I, Marsicano G, Grandes P

Astroglial type-1 cannabinoid (CB1 ) receptors are involved in synaptic transmission, plasticity and behavior by interfering with the so-called tripartite synapse formed by pre- and post-synaptic neuronal elements and surrounding astrocyte processes. However, little is known concerning the subcellular distribution of astroglial CB1 receptors. In particular, brain CB1 receptors are mostly localized at cells' plasmalemma, but recent evidence indicates their functional presence in mitochondrial membranes. Whether CB1 receptors are present in astroglial mitochondria has remained unknown. To investigate this issue, we included conditional knock-out mice lacking astroglial CB1 receptor expression specifically in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-containing astrocytes (GFAP-CB1 -KO mice) and also generated genetic rescue mice to re-express CB1 receptors exclusively in astrocytes (GFAP-CB1 -RS). To better identify astroglial structures by immunoelectron microscopy, global CB1 knock-out (CB1 -KO) mice and wild-type (CB1 -WT) littermates were intra-hippocampally injected with an adeno-associated virus expressing humanized renilla green fluorescent protein (hrGFP) under the control of human GFAP promoter to generate GFAPhrGFP-CB1 -KO and -WT mice, respectively. Furthermore, double immunogold (for CB1 ) and immunoperoxidase (for GFAP or hrGFP) revealed that CB1 receptors are present in astroglial mitochondria from different hippocampal regions of CB1 -WT, GFAP-CB1 -RS and GFAPhrGFP-CB1 -WT mice. Only non-specific gold particles were detected in mouse hippocampi lacking CB1 receptors. Altogether, we demonstrated the existence of a precise molecular architecture of the CB1 receptor in astrocytes that will have to be taken into account in evaluating the functional activity of cannabinergic signaling at the tripartite synapse.

01/11/2017 | J Clin Invest   IF 12.8
Adipocyte cannabinoid receptor CB1 regulates energy homeostasis and alternatively activated macrophages.
Ruiz de Azua I, Mancini G, Srivastava RK, Rey AA, Cardinal P, Tedesco L, Zingaretti CM, Sassmann A, Quarta C, Schwitter C, Conrad A, Wettschureck N, Vemuri VK, Makriyannis A, Hartwig J, Mendez-Lago M, Bindila L, Monory K, Giordano A, Cinti S, Marsicano G, Offermanns S, Nisoli E, Pagotto U, Cota D, Lutz B

Dysregulated adipocyte physiology leads to imbalanced energy storage, obesity, and associated diseases, imposing a costly burden on current health care. Cannabinoid receptor type-1 (CB1) plays a crucial role in controlling energy metabolism through central and peripheral mechanisms. In this work, adipocyte-specific inducible deletion of the CB1 gene (Ati-CB1-KO) was sufficient to protect adult mice from diet-induced obesity and associated metabolic alterations and to reverse the phenotype in already obese mice. Compared with controls, Ati-CB1-KO mice showed decreased body weight, reduced total adiposity, improved insulin sensitivity, enhanced energy expenditure, and fat depot-specific cellular remodeling toward lowered energy storage capacity and browning of white adipocytes. These changes were associated with an increase in alternatively activated macrophages concomitant with enhanced sympathetic tone in adipose tissue. Remarkably, these alterations preceded the appearance of differences in body weight, highlighting the causal relation between the loss of CB1 and the triggering of metabolic reprogramming in adipose tissues. Finally, the lean phenotype of Ati-CB1-KO mice and the increase in alternatively activated macrophages in adipose tissue were also present at thermoneutral conditions. Our data provide compelling evidence for a crosstalk among adipocytes, immune cells, and the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), wherein CB1 plays a key regulatory role.

11/2017 | Nat Neurosci   IF 17.8
Synapse-specific astrocyte gating of amygdala-related behavior.
Martin-Fernandez M, Jamison S, Robin LM, Zhao Z, Martin ED, Aguilar J, Benneyworth MA, Marsicano G, Araque A

The amygdala plays key roles in fear and anxiety. Studies of the amygdala have largely focused on neuronal function and connectivity. Astrocytes functionally interact with neurons, but their role in the amygdala remains largely unknown. We show that astrocytes in the medial subdivision of the central amygdala (CeM) determine the synaptic and behavioral outputs of amygdala circuits. To investigate the role of astrocytes in amygdala-related behavior and identify the underlying synaptic mechanisms, we used exogenous or endogenous signaling to selectively activate CeM astrocytes. Astrocytes depressed excitatory synapses from basolateral amygdala via A1 adenosine receptor activation and enhanced inhibitory synapses from the lateral subdivision of the central amygdala via A2A receptor activation. Furthermore, astrocytic activation decreased the firing rate of CeM neurons and reduced fear expression in a fear-conditioning paradigm. Therefore, we conclude that astrocyte activity determines fear responses by selectively regulating specific synapses, which indicates that animal behavior results from the coordinated activity of neurons and astrocytes.

31/10/2017 | Cereb Cortex   IF 6.6
Pathway-Specific Control of Striatal Neuron Vulnerability by Corticostriatal Cannabinoid CB1 Receptors.
Ruiz-Calvo A, Maroto IB, Bajo-Graneras R, Chiarlone A, Gaudioso A, Ferrero JJ, Resel E, Sanchez-Prieto J, Rodriguez-Navarro JA, Marsicano G, Galve-Roperh I, Bellocchio L, Guzman M

The vast majority of neurons within the striatum are GABAergic medium spiny neurons (MSNs), which receive glutamatergic input from the cortex and thalamus, and form two major efferent pathways: the direct pathway, expressing dopamine D1 receptor (D1R-MSNs), and the indirect pathway, expressing dopamine D2 receptor (D2R-MSNs). While molecular mechanisms of MSN degeneration have been identified in animal models of striatal damage, the molecular factors that dictate a selective vulnerability of D1R-MSNs or D2R-MSNs remain unknown. Here, we combined genetic, chemogenetic, and pharmacological strategies with behavioral and neurochemical analyses, and show that the pool of cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1R) located on corticostriatal terminals efficiently safeguards D1R-MSNs, but not D2R-MSNs, from different insults. This cell-specific response relies on the regulation of glutamatergic signaling, and is independent from the CB1R-dependent control of astroglial activity in the striatum. These findings define cortical CB1R as a pivotal synaptic player in dictating a differential vulnerability of D1R-MSNs versus D2R-MSNs, and increase our understanding of the role of coordinated cannabinergic-glutamatergic signaling in establishing corticostriatal circuits and its dysregulation in neurodegenerative diseases.

01/09/2017 | Neuropsychopharmacology   IF 6.4
CB1 Receptors Signaling in the Brain: Extracting Specificity from Ubiquity.
Busquets-Garcia A, Bains J, Marsicano G

Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are amongst the most ubiquitous signaling molecules in the nervous system. Over the past few decades, observations based on a large volume of work, first examining the pharmacological effects of exogenous cannabinoids, and then the physiological functions of eCBs, have directly challenged long-held and dogmatic views about communication, plasticity and behavior in the Central Nervous System (CNS). The eCBs and their cognate cannabinoid receptors exhibit a number of unique properties that distinguish them from the widely studied classical amino acid transmitters, neuropeptides and catecholamines. Although we now have a loose set of mechanistic rules based on experimental findings, new studies continue to reveal that our understanding of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is continuously evolving and challenging long-held conventions. Here, we will briefly summarize findings on the current canonical view of the 'endocannabinoid system' and will address novel aspects that reveal how a nearly ubiquitous system can determine highly specific functions in the brain. In particular, we will focus on findings that push for an expansion of our ideas around long-held beliefs about eCB signaling that, whilst clearly true, may be contributing to an oversimplified perspective on how cannabinoid signaling at the microscopic level impacts behavior at the macroscopic level.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 01 September 2017. doi:10.1038/npp.2017.206.

20/06/2017 | bio protoc
Representation-mediated Aversion as a Model to Study Psychotic-like States in Mice.
Busquets-Garcia A, Soria-Gomez E, Ferreira G, Marsicano G

Several paradigms for rodent models of the cognitive and negative endophenotypes found in schizophrenic patients have been proposed. However, significant efforts are needed in order to study the pathophysiology of schizophrenia-related positive symptoms. Recently, it has been shown that these positive symptoms can be studied in rats by using representation-mediated learning. This learning measure the accuracy of mental representations of reality, also called 'reality testing'. Alterations in 'reality testing' performance can be an indication of an impairment in perception which is a clear hallmark of positive psychotic-like states. Thus, we describe here a mouse task adapted from previous findings based on a sensory preconditioning task. With this task, associations made between different neutral stimuli (e.g., an odor and a taste) and subsequent selective devaluation of one of these stimuli have allowed us to study mental sensory representations. Thus, the interest of this task is that it can be used to model positive psychotic-like states in mice, as recently described.

06/2017 | Med Sci (Paris)
[Mitochondria link between cannabinoid and memory].
Hebert-Chatelain E, Marsicano G

01/04/2017 | Biol Psychiatry   IF 11.4
CB1 Cannabinoid Receptors Mediate Cognitive Deficits and Structural Plasticity Changes During Nicotine Withdrawal.
Saravia R, Flores A, Plaza-Zabala A, Busquets-Garcia A, Pastor A, de la Torre R, Di Marzo V, Marsicano G, Ozaita A, Maldonado R, Berrendero F

BACKGROUND: Tobacco withdrawal is associated with deficits in cognitive function, including attention, working memory, and episodic memory. Understanding the neurobiological mechanisms involved in these effects is crucial because cognitive deficits during nicotine withdrawal may predict relapse in humans. METHODS: We investigated in mice the role of CB1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1Rs) in memory impairment and spine density changes induced by nicotine withdrawal precipitated by the nicotinic antagonist mecamylamine. Drugs acting on the endocannabinoid system and genetically modified mice were used. RESULTS: Memory impairment during nicotine withdrawal was blocked by the CB1R antagonist rimonabant or the genetic deletion of CB1R in forebrain gamma-aminobutyric acidergic (GABAergic) neurons (GABA-CB1R). An increase of 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), but not anandamide, was observed during nicotine withdrawal. The selective inhibitor of 2-AG biosynthesis O7460 abolished cognitive deficits of nicotine abstinence, whereas the inhibitor of 2-AG enzymatic degradation JZL184 did not produce any effect in cognitive impairment. Moreover, memory impairment was prevented by the selective mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor temsirolimus and the protein synthesis inhibitor anisomycin. Mature dendritic spines on CA1 pyramidal hippocampal neurons decreased 4 days after the precipitation of nicotine withdrawal, when the cognitive deficits were still present. Indeed, a correlation between memory performance and mature spine density was found. Interestingly, these structural plasticity alterations were normalized in GABA-CB1R conditional knockout mice and after subchronic treatment with rimonabant. CONCLUSIONS: These findings underline the interest of CB1R as a target to improve cognitive performance during early nicotine withdrawal. Cognitive deficits in early abstinence are associated with increased relapse risk.

22/03/2017 | Neuron   IF 14
The CB1 Receptor as the Cornerstone of Exostasis.
Piazza PV, Cota D, Marsicano G

The type-1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1) is the main effector of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is involved in most brain and body functions. In this Perspective, we provide evidence indicating that CB1 receptor functions are key determinants of bodily coordinated exostatic processes. First, we will introduce the concepts of endostasis and exostasis as compensation or accumulation for immediate or future energy needs and discuss how exostasis has been necessary for the survival of species during evolution. Then, we will argue how different specific biological functions of the CB1 receptor in the body converge to provide physiological exostatic processes. Finally, we will introduce the concept of proactive evolution-induced diseases (PEIDs), which helps explain the seeming paradox that an evolutionary-selected physiological function can become the cause of epidemic pathological conditions, such as obesity. We propose here a possible unifying theory of CB1 receptor functions that can be tested by future experimental studies.

17/03/2017 | acs chem biol   IF 5
Chemical Proteomics Maps Brain Region Specific Activity of Endocannabinoid Hydrolases.
Baggelaar MP, van Esbroeck AC, van Rooden EJ, Florea BI, Overkleeft HS, Marsicano G, Chaouloff F, van der Stelt M

The biosynthetic and catabolic enzymes of the endocannabinoids tightly regulate endocannabinoid-mediated activation of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor. Monitoring the activities of these endocannabinoid hydrolases in different brain regions is, therefore, key to gaining insight into spatiotemporal control of CB1 receptor-mediated physiology. We have employed a comparative chemical proteomics approach to quantitatively map the activity profile of endocannabinoid hydrolases in various mouse brain regions at the same time. To this end, we used two different activity-based probes: fluorophosphonate-biotin (FP-biotin), which quantifies FAAH, ABHD6, and MAG-lipase activity, and MB108, which detects DAGL-alpha, ABHD4, ABHD6, and ABHD12. In total, 32 serine hydrolases were evaluated in the frontal cortex, hippocampus, striatum, and cerebellum. Comparison of endocannabinoid hydrolase activity in the four brain regions revealed that FAAH activity was highest in the hippocampus, and MAGL activity was most pronounced in the frontal cortex, whereas DAGL-alpha was most active in the cerebellum. Comparison of the activity profiles with a global proteomics data set revealed pronounced differences. This could indicate that post-translational modification of the endocannabinoid hydrolases is important to regulate their activity. Next, the effect of genetic deletion of the CB1 receptor was studied. No difference in the enzymatic activity was found in the cerebellum, striatum, frontal cortex, and hippocampus of CB1 receptor knockout animals compared to wild type mice. Our results are in line with previous reports and indicate that the CB1 receptor exerts no regulatory control over the basal production and degradation of endocannabinoids and that genetic deletion of the CB1 receptor does not induce compensatory mechanisms in endocannabinoid hydrolase activity.

21/02/2017 | Mol Psychiatry   IF 13.2
Pregnenolone blocks cannabinoid-induced acute psychotic-like states in mice.
Busquets-Garcia A, Soria-Gomez E, Redon B, Mackenbach Y, Vallee M, Chaouloff F, Varilh M, Ferreira G, Piazza PV, Marsicano G

Cannabis-induced acute psychotic-like states (CIAPS) represent a growing health issue, but their underlying neurobiological mechanisms are poorly understood. The use of antipsychotics and benzodiazepines against CIAPS is limited by side effects and/or by their ability to tackle only certain aspects of psychosis. Thus, safer wide-spectrum treatments are currently needed. Although the blockade of cannabinoid type-1 receptor (CB1) had been suggested as a therapeutical means against CIAPS, the use of orthosteric CB1 receptor full antagonists is strongly limited by undesired side effects and low efficacy. The neurosteroid pregnenolone has been recently shown to act as a potent endogenous allosteric signal-specific inhibitor of CB1 receptors. Thus, we tested in mice the potential therapeutic use of pregnenolone against acute psychotic-like effects of Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive component of cannabis. We found that pregnenolone blocks a wide spectrum of THC-induced endophenotypes typically associated with psychotic-like states, including impairments in cognitive functions, somatosensory gating and social interaction. In order to capture THC-induced positive psychotic-like symptoms (e.g. perceptual delusions), we adapted a behavioral paradigm based on associations between different sensory modalities and selective devaluation, allowing the measurement of mental sensory representations in mice. Acting at hippocampal CB1 receptors, THC impaired the correct processing of mental sensory representations (reality testing) in an antipsychotic- and pregnenolone-sensitive manner. Overall, this work reveals that signal-specific inhibitors mimicking pregnenolone effects can be considered as promising new therapeutic tools to treat CIAPS.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 21 February 2017; doi:10.1038/mp.2017.4.

01/02/2017 | J Comp Neurol   IF 3.3
Anatomical characterization of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor in cell-type-specific mutant mouse rescue models.
Gutierrez-Rodriguez A, Puente N, Elezgarai I, Ruehle S, Lutz B, Reguero L, Gerrikagoitia I, Marsicano G, Grandes P

Type 1 cannabinoid (CB1 ) receptors are widely distributed in the brain. Their physiological roles depend on their distribution pattern, which differs remarkably among cell types. Hence, subcellular compartments with little but functionally relevant CB1 receptors can be overlooked, fostering an incomplete mapping. To overcome this, knockin mice with cell-type-specific rescue of CB1 receptors have emerged as excellent tools for investigating CB1 receptors' cell-type-specific localization and sufficient functional role with no bias. However, to know whether these rescue mice maintain endogenous CB1 receptor expression level, detailed anatomical studies are necessary. The subcellular distribution of hippocampal CB1 receptors of rescue mice that express the gene exclusively in dorsal telencephalic glutamatergic neurons (Glu-CB1 -RS) or GABAergic neurons (GABA-CB1 -RS) was studied by immunoelectron microscopy. Results were compared with conditional CB1 receptor knockout lines. As expected, CB1 immunoparticles appeared at presynaptic plasmalemma, making asymmetric and symmetric synapses. In the hippocampal CA1 stratum radiatum, the values of the CB1 receptor-immunopositive excitatory and inhibitory synapses were Glu-CB1 -RS, 21.89% (glutamatergic terminals); 2.38% (GABAergic terminals); GABA-CB1 -RS, 1.92% (glutamatergic terminals); 77.92% (GABAergic terminals). The proportion of CB1 receptor-immunopositive excitatory and inhibitory synapses in the inner one-third of the dentate molecular layer was Glu-CB1 -RS, 53.19% (glutamatergic terminals); 2.30% (GABAergic terminals); GABA-CB1 -RS, 3.19% (glutamatergic terminals); 85.07% (GABAergic terminals). Taken together, Glu-CB1 -RS and GABA-CB1 -RS mice show the usual CB1 receptor distribution and expression in hippocampal cell types with specific rescue of the receptor, thus being ideal for in-depth anatomical and functional investigations of the endocannabinoid system. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:302-318, 2017. (c) 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

2017 | methods enzymol
Functional Analysis of Mitochondrial CB1 Cannabinoid Receptors (mtCB1) in the Brain.
Melser S, Pagano Zottola AC, Serrat R, Puente N, Grandes P, Marsicano G, Hebert-Chatelain E

Recent evidence indicates that, besides its canonical localization at cell plasma membranes, the type-1 cannabinoid receptor, CB1 is functionally present at brain and muscle mitochondrial membranes (mtCB1). Through mtCB1 receptors, cannabinoids can directly regulate intramitochondrial signaling and respiration. This new and surprising discovery paves the way to new potential fields of research, dealing with the direct impact of G protein-coupled receptors on bioenergetic processes and its functional implications. In this chapter, we summarize some key experimental approaches established in our laboratories to identify anatomical, biochemical, and functional features of mtCB1 receptors in the brain. In particular, we describe the procedures to obtain reliable and controlled detection of mtCB1 receptors by immunogold electromicroscopy and by immunoblotting methods. Then, we address the study of direct cannabinoid effects on the electron transport system and oxidative phosphorylation. Finally, we present a functional example of the impact of mtCB1 receptors on mitochondrial mobility in cultured neurons. Considering the youth of the field, these methodological approaches will very likely be improved and refined in the future, but this chapter aims at presenting the methods that are currently used and, in particular, at underlining the need of rigorous controls to obtain reliable results. We hope that this chapter might help scientists becoming interested in this new and exciting field of research.

2017 | front mol neurosci   IF 5.1
Ribosomal Protein S6 Phosphorylation Is Involved in Novelty-Induced Locomotion, Synaptic Plasticity and mRNA Translation.
Puighermanal E, Biever A, Pascoli V, Melser S, Pratlong M, Cutando L, Rialle S, Severac D, Boubaker-Vitre J, Meyuhas O, Marsicano G, Luscher C, Valjent E

The phosphorylation of the ribosomal protein S6 (rpS6) is widely used to track neuronal activity. Although it is generally assumed that rpS6 phosphorylation has a stimulatory effect on global protein synthesis in neurons, its exact biological function remains unknown. By using a phospho-deficient rpS6 knockin mouse model, we directly tested the role of phospho-rpS6 in mRNA translation, plasticity and behavior. The analysis of multiple brain areas shows for the first time that, in neurons, phospho-rpS6 is dispensable for overall protein synthesis. Instead, we found that phospho-rpS6 controls the translation of a subset of mRNAs in a specific brain region, the nucleus accumbens (Acb), but not in the dorsal striatum. We further show that rpS6 phospho-mutant mice display altered long-term potentiation (LTP) in the Acb and enhanced novelty-induced locomotion. Collectively, our findings suggest a previously unappreciated role of phospho-rpS6 in the physiology of the Acb, through the translation of a selective subclass of mRNAs, rather than the regulation of general protein synthesis.

09/11/2016 | Nature   IF 38.1
A cannabinoid link between mitochondria and memory.
Hebert-Chatelain E, Desprez T, Serrat R, Bellocchio L, Soria-Gomez E, Busquets-Garcia A, Zottola AC, Delamarre A, Cannich A, Vincent P, Varilh M, Robin LM, Terral G, Garcia-Fernandez MD, Colavita M, Mazier W, Drago F, Puente N, Reguero L, Elezgarai I, Dupuy JW, Cota D, Lopez-Rodriguez ML, Barreda-Gomez G, Massa F, Grandes P, Benard G, Marsicano G

Cellular activity in the brain depends on the high energetic support provided by mitochondria, the cell organelles which use energy sources to generate ATP. Acute cannabinoid intoxication induces amnesia in humans and animals, and the activation of type-1 cannabinoid receptors present at brain mitochondria membranes (mtCB1) can directly alter mitochondrial energetic activity. Although the pathological impact of chronic mitochondrial dysfunctions in the brain is well established, the involvement of acute modulation of mitochondrial activity in high brain functions, including learning and memory, is unknown. Here, we show that acute cannabinoid-induced memory impairment in mice requires activation of hippocampal mtCB1 receptors. Genetic exclusion of CB1 receptors from hippocampal mitochondria prevents cannabinoid-induced reduction of mitochondrial mobility, synaptic transmission and memory formation. mtCB1 receptors signal through intra-mitochondrial Galphai protein activation and consequent inhibition of soluble-adenylyl cyclase (sAC). The resulting inhibition of protein kinase A (PKA)-dependent phosphorylation of specific subunits of the mitochondrial electron transport system eventually leads to decreased cellular respiration. Hippocampal inhibition of sAC activity or manipulation of intra-mitochondrial PKA signalling or phosphorylation of the Complex I subunit NDUFS2 inhibit bioenergetic and amnesic effects of cannabinoids. Thus, the G protein-coupled mtCB1 receptors regulate memory processes via modulation of mitochondrial energy metabolism. By directly linking mitochondrial activity to memory formation, these data reveal that bioenergetic processes are primary acute regulators of cognitive functions.

15/08/2016 | Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A   IF 9.4
Peripheral and central CB1 cannabinoid receptors control stress-induced impairment of memory consolidation.
Busquets-Garcia A, Gomis-Gonzalez M, Srivastava RK, Cutando L, Ortega-Alvaro A, Ruehle S, Remmers F, Bindila L, Bellocchio L, Marsicano G, Lutz B, Maldonado R, Ozaita A

Stressful events can generate emotional memories linked to the traumatic incident, but they also can impair the formation of nonemotional memories. Although the impact of stress on emotional memories is well studied, much less is known about the influence of the emotional state on the formation of nonemotional memories. We used the novel object-recognition task as a model of nonemotional memory in mice to investigate the underlying mechanism of the deleterious effect of stress on memory consolidation. Systemic, hippocampal, and peripheral blockade of cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptors abolished the stress-induced memory impairment. Genetic deletion and rescue of CB1 receptors in specific cell types revealed that the CB1 receptor population specifically in dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DBH)-expressing cells is both necessary and sufficient for stress-induced impairment of memory consolidation, but CB1 receptors present in other neuronal populations are not involved. Strikingly, pharmacological manipulations in mice expressing CB1 receptors exclusively in DBH+ cells revealed that both hippocampal and peripheral receptors mediate the impact of stress on memory consolidation. Thus, CB1 receptors on adrenergic and noradrenergic cells provide previously unrecognized cross-talk between central and peripheral mechanisms in the stress-dependent regulation of nonemotional memory consolidation, suggesting new potential avenues for the treatment of cognitive aspects on stress-related disorders.

06/2016 | Neurobiol Dis   IF 4.9
MitoBrain, Putting energy into the brain.
Benard G, Bezard E, Marsicano G, Pouvreau S

01/01/2016 | dis model mech   IF 4.3
The cannabinoid CB1 receptor and mTORC1 signalling pathways interact to modulate glucose homeostasis in mice.
Bermudez-Silva FJ, Romero-Zerbo SY, Haissaguerre M, Ruz-Maldonado I, Lhamyani S, El Bekay R, Tabarin A, Marsicano G, Cota D

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is an intercellular signalling mechanism that is present in the islets of Langerhans and plays a role in the modulation of insulin secretion and expansion of the beta-cell mass. The downstream signalling pathways mediating these effects are poorly understood. Mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signalling is a key intracellular pathway involved in energy homeostasis and is known to importantly affect the physiology of pancreatic islets. We investigated the possible relationship between cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor signalling and the mTORC1 pathway in the endocrine pancreas of mice by using pharmacological analysis as well as mice genetically lacking the CB1 receptor or the downstream target of mTORC1, the kinase p70S6K1. In vitro static secretion experiments on islets, western blotting, and in vivo glucose and insulin tolerance tests were performed. The CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant decreased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) at 0.1 microM while increasing phosphorylation of p70S6K1 and ribosomal protein S6 (rpS6) within the islets. Specific pharmacological blockade of mTORC1 by 3 nM rapamycin, as well as genetic deletion of p70S6K1, impaired the CB1-antagonist-mediated decrease in GSIS. In vivo experiments showed that 3 mg/kg body weight rimonabant decreased insulin levels and induced glucose intolerance in lean mice without altering peripheral insulin sensitivity; this effect was prevented by peripheral administration of low doses of rapamycin (0.1 mg/kg body weight), which increased insulin sensitivity. These findings suggest a functional interaction between the ECS and the mTORC1 pathway within the endocrine pancreas and at the whole-organism level, which could have implications for the development of new therapeutic approaches for pancreatic beta-cell diseases.

2016 | f1000res
Cannabinoid receptor type-1: breaking the dogmas.
Busquets Garcia A, Soria-Gomez E, Bellocchio L, Marsicano G

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is abundantly expressed in the brain. This system regulates a plethora of physiological functions and is composed of cannabinoid receptors, their endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids), and the enzymes involved in the metabolism of endocannabinoids. In this review, we highlight the new advances in cannabinoid signaling, focusing on a key component of the ECS, the type-1 cannabinoid receptor (CB 1). In recent years, the development of new imaging and molecular tools has demonstrated that this receptor can be distributed in many cell types (e.g., neuronal or glial cells) and intracellular compartments (e.g., mitochondria). Interestingly, cellular and molecular effects are differentially mediated by CB 1 receptors according to their specific localization (e.g., glutamatergic or GABAergic neurons). Moreover, this receptor is expressed in the periphery, where it can modulate periphery-brain connections. Finally, the better understanding of the CB 1 receptor structure led researchers to propose interesting and new allosteric modulators. Thus, the advances and the new directions of the CB 1 receptor field will provide new insights and better approaches to profit from its interesting therapeutic profile.

2016 | Sci Rep   IF 5.2
Layer-specific potentiation of network GABAergic inhibition in the CA1 area of the hippocampus.
Colavita M, Terral G, Lemercier CE, Drago F, Marsicano G, Massa F

One of the most important functions of GABAergic inhibition in cortical regions is the tight control of spatiotemporal activity of principal neuronal ensembles. However, electrophysiological recordings do not provide sufficient spatial information to determine the spatiotemporal properties of inhibitory plasticity. Using Voltage Sensitive Dye Imaging (VSDI) in mouse hippocampal slices, we demonstrate that GABAA-mediated field inhibitory postsynaptic potentials undergo layer-specific potentiation upon activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGlu). VSDI recordings allowed detection of pharmacologically isolated GABAA-dependent hyperpolarization signals. Bath-application of the selective group-I mGlu receptor agonist, (S)-3,5-Dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG), induces an enhancement of the GABAergic VSDI-recorded signal, which is more or less pronounced in different hippocampal layers. This potentiation is mediated by mGlu5 and downstream activation of IP3 receptors. Our results depict network GABAergic activity in the hippocampal CA1 region and its sub-layers, showing also a novel form of inhibitory synaptic plasticity tightly coupled to glutamatergic activity.

2016 | Front Behav Neurosci   IF 3.4
Interacting Cannabinoid and Opioid Receptors in the Nucleus Accumbens Core Control Adolescent Social Play.
Manduca A, Lassalle O, Sepers M, Campolongo P, Cuomo V, Marsicano G, Kieffer B, Vanderschuren LJ, Trezza V, Manzoni OJ

Social play behavior is a highly rewarding, developmentally important form of social interaction in young mammals. However, its neurobiological underpinnings remain incompletely understood. Previous work has suggested that opioid and endocannabinoid neurotransmission interact in the modulation of social play. Therefore, we combined behavioral, pharmacological, electrophysiological, and genetic approaches to elucidate the role of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in social play, and how cannabinoid and opioid neurotransmission interact to control social behavior in adolescent rodents. Systemic administration of the 2-AG hydrolysis inhibitor JZL184 or the opioid receptor agonist morphine increased social play behavior in adolescent rats. These effects were blocked by systemic pretreatment with either CB1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1R) or mu-opioid receptor (MOR) antagonists. The social play-enhancing effects of systemic morphine or JZL184 treatment were also prevented by direct infusion of the CB1R antagonist SR141716 and the MOR antagonist naloxone into the nucleus accumbens core (NAcC). Searching for synaptic correlates of these effects in adolescent NAcC excitatory synapses, we observed that CB1R antagonism blocked the effect of the MOR agonist DAMGO and, conversely, that naloxone reduced the effect of a cannabinoid agonist. These results were recapitulated in mice, and completely abolished in CB1R and MOR knockout mice, suggesting that the functional interaction between CB1R and MOR in the NAcC in the modulation of social behavior is widespread in rodents. The data shed new light on the mechanism by which endocannabinoid lipids and opioid peptides interact to orchestrate rodent socioemotional behaviors.

2016 | front physiol   IF 4
Cannabinoid CB1 Receptors Are Localized in Striated Muscle Mitochondria and Regulate Mitochondrial Respiration.
Mendizabal-Zubiaga J, Melser S, Benard G, Ramos A, Reguero L, Arrabal S, Elezgarai I, Gerrikagoitia I, Suarez J, Rodriguez De Fonseca F, Puente N, Marsicano G, Grandes P

The cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor is widely distributed in the brain and peripheral organs where it regulates cellular functions and metabolism. In the brain, CB1 is mainly localized on presynaptic axon terminals but is also found on mitochondria (mtCB1), where it regulates cellular respiration and energy production. Likewise, CB1 is localized on muscle mitochondria, but very little is known about it. The aim of this study was to further investigate in detail the distribution and functional role of mtCB1 in three different striated muscles. Immunoelectron microscopy for CB1 was used in skeletal muscles (gastrocnemius and rectus abdominis) and myocardium from wild-type and CB1 -KO mice. Functional assessments were performed in mitochondria purified from the heart of the mice and the mitochondrial oxygen consumption upon application of different acute delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta(9)-THC) concentrations (100 nM or 200 nM) was monitored. About 26% of the mitochondrial profiles in gastrocnemius, 22% in the rectus abdominis and 17% in the myocardium expressed CB1. Furthermore, the proportion of mtCB1 versus total CB1 immunoparticles was about 60% in the gastrocnemius, 55% in the rectus abdominis and 78% in the myocardium. Importantly, the CB1 immunolabeling pattern disappeared in muscles of CB1 -KO mice. Functionally, acute 100 nM or 200 nM THC treatment specifically decreased mitochondria coupled respiration between 12 and 15% in wild-type isolated mitochondria of myocardial muscles but no significant difference was noticed between THC treated and vehicle in mitochondria isolated from CB1 -KO heart. Furthermore, gene expression of key enzymes involved in pyruvate synthesis, tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and mitochondrial respiratory chain was evaluated in the striated muscle of CB1 -WT and CB1 -KO. CB1 -KO showed an increase in the gene expression of Eno3, Pkm2, and Pdha1, suggesting an increased production of pyruvate. In contrast, no significant difference was observed in the Sdha and Cox4i1 expression, between CB1 -WT and CB1 -KO. In conclusion, CB1 receptors in skeletal and myocardial muscles are predominantly localized in mitochondria. The activation of mtCB1 receptors may participate in the mitochondrial regulation of the oxidative activity probably through the relevant enzymes implicated in the pyruvate metabolism, a main substrate for TCA activity.

12/2015 | Neuropharmacology   IF 5.1
Stimulation of in vivo dopamine transmission and intravenous self-administration in rats and mice by JWH-018, a Spice cannabinoid.
De Luca MA, Bimpisidis Z, Melis M, Marti M, Caboni P, Valentini V, Margiani G, Pintori N, Polis I, Marsicano G, Parsons LH, Di Chiara G

The synthetic cannabinoid 1-pentyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)-indole (JWH-018) has been detected in about 140 samples of a smokable herbal mixture termed 'Spice'. JWH-018 is a CB1 and CB2 agonist with a higher affinity than Delta9-THC. In order to investigate the neurobiological substrates of JWH-018 actions, we studied by microdialysis in freely moving rats the effect of JWH-018 on extracellular dopamine (DA) levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell and core and in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). JWH-018, at the dose of 0.25 mg/kg i.p., increased DA release in the NAc shell but not in the NAc core and mPFC. Lower (0.125 mg/kg) and higher doses (0.50 mg/kg) were ineffective. These effects were blocked by CB1 receptor antagonists (SR-141716A and AM 251) and were absent in mice lacking the CB1 receptor. Ex vivo whole cell patch clamp recordings from rat ventral tegmental area (VTA) DA neurons showed that JWH-018 decreases GABAA-mediated post-synaptic currents in a dose-dependent fashion suggesting that the stimulation of DA release observed in vivo might result from disinhibition of DA neurons. In addition, on the 'tetrad' paradigm for screening cannabinoid-like effects (i.e., hypothermia, analgesia, catalepsy, hypomotility), JWH-018, at doses of 1 and 3 mg/kg i.p., produced CB1 receptor-dependent behavioural effects in rats. Finally, under appropriate experimental conditions, rats (20 mug/kg/inf i.v., FR3; nose-poking) and mice (30 mug/kg/inf i.v., FR1; lever-pressing) self-administer intravenously JWH-018. In conclusion, JWH-018 shares with the active ingredient of Marijuana, Delta9-THC, CB1-dependent reinforcing and DA stimulant actions.

12/2015 | nat rev neurosci
The endocannabinoid system in guarding against fear, anxiety and stress.
Lutz B, Marsicano G, Maldonado R, Hillard CJ

The endocannabinoid (eCB) system has emerged as a central integrator linking the perception of external and internal stimuli to distinct neurophysiological and behavioural outcomes (such as fear reaction, anxiety and stress-coping), thus allowing an organism to adapt to its changing environment. eCB signalling seems to determine the value of fear-evoking stimuli and to tune appropriate behavioural responses, which are essential for the organism's long-term viability, homeostasis and stress resilience; and dysregulation of eCB signalling can lead to psychiatric disorders. An understanding of the underlying neural cell populations and cellular processes enables the development of therapeutic strategies to mitigate behavioural maladaptation.

27/11/2015 | Neuropsychopharmacology   IF 7
Differential Control of Cocaine Self-Administration by GABAergic and Glutamatergic CB1 Cannabinoid Receptors.
Martin-Garcia E, Bourgoin L, Cathala A, Kasanetz F, Mondesir M, Gutierrez-Rodriguez A, Reguero L, Fiancette JF, Grandes P, Spampinato U, Maldonado R, Piazza PV, Marsicano G, Deroche-Gamonet V

The type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1) modulates numerous neurobehavioral processes and is therefore explored as a target for the treatment of several mental and neurological diseases. However, previous studies have investigated CB1 by targeting it globally, regardless of its two main neuronal localizations on glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons. In the context of cocaine addiction this lack of selectivity is critical since glutamatergic and GABAergic neuronal transmission is involved in different aspects of the disease. To determine whether CB1 exerts different control on cocaine-seeking according to its two main neuronal localizations, we used mutant mice with deleted CB1 in cortical glutamatergic neurons (Glu-CB1) or in forebrain GABAergic neurons (GABA-CB1). In Glu-CB1, gene deletion concerns the dorsal telencephalon, including neocortex, paleocortex, archicortex, hippocampal formation and the cortical portions of the amygdala. In GABA-CB1, it concerns several cortical and non-cortical areas including the dorsal striatum, nucleus accumbens, thalamic and hypothalamic nuclei. We tested complementary components of cocaine self-administration, separating the influence of primary and conditioned effects. Mechanisms underlying each phenotype were explored using in vivo microdialysis and ex vivo electrophysiology. We show that CB1 expression in forebrain GABAergic neurons controls mouse sensitivity to cocaine, while CB1 expression in cortical glutamatergic neurons controls associative learning processes. In accordance, in the nucleus accumbens, GABA-CB1 receptors control cocaine-induced dopamine release and Glu-CB1 receptors control AMPAR/NMDAR ratio; a marker of synaptic plasticity. Our findings demonstrate a critical distinction of the altered balance of Glu-CB1 and GABA-CB1 activity that could participate in the vulnerability to cocaine abuse and addiction. Moreover, these novel insights advance our understanding of CB1 neuropathophysiology.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 27 November 2015. doi:10.1038/npp.2015.351.

25/11/2015 | Hippocampus   IF 4.2
Running per se stimulates the dendritic arbor of newborn dentate granule cells in mouse hippocampus in a duration-dependent manner.
Dostes S, Dubreucq S, Ladeveze E, Marsicano G, Abrous DN, Chaouloff F, Koehl M

Laboratory rodents provided chronic unlimited access to running wheels display increased neurogenesis in the hippocampal dentate gyrus. In addition, recent studies indicate that such an access to wheels stimulates dendritic arborization in newly formed neurons. However, (i) the presence of the running wheel in the housing environment might also bear intrinsic influences on the number and shape of new neurons and (ii) the dendritic arborization of new neurons might be insensitive to moderate daily running activity (i.e. several hours). In keeping with these uncertainties, we have examined neurogenesis and dendritic arborization in newly formed granular cells in adult C57Bl/6N male mice housed for 3 weeks under standard conditions, with a locked wheel, with a running wheel set free 3 h/day, or with a running wheel set permanently free. The results indicate that the presence of a blocked wheel in the home cage increased cell proliferation, but not the number of new neurons while running increased in a duration-dependent manner the number of newborn neurons, as assessed by DCX labeling. Morphological analyses of the dendritic tree of newborn neurons, as identified by BrdU-DCX co-staining, revealed that although the presence of the wheel stimulated their dendritic architecture, the amplitude of this effect was lower than that elicited by running activity, and was found to be running duration-dependent. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

23/09/2015 | Neuron   IF 15.1
Habenular CB Receptors Control the Expression of Aversive Memories.
Soria-Gomez E, Busquets-Garcia A, Hu F, Mehidi A, Cannich A, Roux L, Louit I, Alonso L, Wiesner T, Georges F, Verrier D, Vincent P, Ferreira G, Luo M, Marsicano G

Expression of aversive memories is key for survival, but the underlying brain mechanisms are not fully understood. Medial habenular (MHb) axons corelease glutamate and acetylcholine onto target postsynaptic interpeduncular (IPN) neurons, but their role in aversive memories has not been addressed so far. We found that cannabinoid type 1 receptors (CB1R), key regulators of aversive responses, are present at presynaptic terminals of MHb neurons in the IPN. Conditional deletion of CB1R from MHb neurons reduces fear-conditioned freezing and abolishes conditioned odor aversion in mice, without affecting neutral or appetitively motivated memories. Interestingly, local inhibition of nicotinic, but not glutamatergic receptors in the target region IPN before retrieval, rescues these phenotypes. Finally, optogenetic electrophysiological recordings of MHb-to-IPN circuitry revealed that blockade of CB1R specifically enhances cholinergic, but not glutamatergic, neurotransmission. Thus, presynaptic CB1R control expression of aversive memories by selectively modulating cholinergic transmission at MHb synapses in the IPN.

11/08/2015 | bioessays   IF 4.7
Dissecting the cannabinergic control of behavior: The where matters.
Busquets-Garcia A, Desprez T, Metna-Laurent M, Bellocchio L, Marsicano G, Soria-Gomez E

The endocannabinoid system is the target of the main psychoactive component of the plant Cannabis sativa, the Delta9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This system is composed by the cannabinoid receptors, the endogenous ligands, and the enzymes involved in their metabolic processes, which works both centrally and peripherally to regulate a plethora of physiological functions. This review aims at explaining how the site-specific actions of the endocannabinoid system impact on memory and feeding behavior through the cannabinoid receptors 1 (CB1 R). Centrally, CB1 R is widely distributed in many brain regions, different cell types (e.g. neuronal or glial cells) and intracellular compartments (e.g. mitochondria). Interestingly, cellular and molecular effects are differentially mediated by CB1 R according to their cell-type localization (e.g. glutamatergic or GABAergic neurons). Thus, understanding the cellular and subcellular function of CB1 R will provide new insights and aid the design of new compounds in cannabinoid-based medicine. Also watch the Video Abstract.

09/05/2015 | Neuroscience   IF 3.4
Astroglial type-1 cannabinoid receptors (CB): A new player in the tripartite synapse.
Oliveira da Cruz JF, Robin LM, Drago F, Marsicano G, Metna-Laurent M

The endocannabinoid system is an important regulator of physiological functions. In the brain, this control is mainly exerted through the type-1-cannabinoid (CB1) receptors. CB1 receptors are abundant at neuron terminals where their stimulation inhibits neurotransmitter release. However, CB1 receptors are also expressed in astrocytes and recent studies showed that astroglial cannabinoid signalling is a key element of the tripartite synapse. In this review we discuss the different mechanisms by which astroglial CB1 receptors control synaptic transmission and plasticity. The recent involvement of astroglial CB1 receptors in the effects of cannabinoids on memory highlights their key roles in cognitive processes and further indicates that astrocytes are central active elements of high order brain functions.

The type-1-cannabinoid (CB1 ) receptor is amongst the most widely expressed G protein-coupled receptors in the brain. In few decades, CB1 receptors have been shown to regulate a large array of functions from brain cell development and survival to complex cognitive processes. Understanding the cellular mechanisms underlying these functions of CB1 is complex due to the heterogeneity of the brain cell types on which the receptor is expressed. Although the large majority of CB1 receptors act on neurons, early studies pointed to a direct control of CB1 receptors over astroglial functions including brain energy supply and neuroprotection. In line with the growing concept of the tripartite synapse highlighting astrocytes as direct players in synaptic plasticity, astroglial CB1 receptor signaling recently emerged as the mediator of several forms of synaptic plasticity associated to important cognitive functions. Here, we shortly review the current knowledge on CB1 receptor-mediated astroglial functions. This functional spectrum is large and most of the mechanisms by which CB1 receptors control astrocytes, as well as their consequences in vivo, are still unknown, requiring innovative approaches to improve this new cannabinoid research field.

This study examined the respective influences of cannabinoid type-1 (CB1 ) receptors expressed either in forebrain GABAergic neurons, in cortical glutamatergic neurons or in astrocytes on the turnover rates of the endocannabinoids N-arachidonoylethanolamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), and the non-cannabinoid N-acylethanolamides, palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) and oleoylethanolamide (OEA), in mouse forebrain regions. To this end, conditional mutant mice lacking CB1 receptors from either of these cell types were pretreated systemically with JZL195, a dual inhibitor of fatty acid amide hydrolase, the enzyme degrading AEA, PEA and OEA, and of monoacylglycerol lipase, the main 2-AG-degrading enzyme. The analyses of frontocortical, hippocampal and striatal AEA, 2-AG, PEA and OEA concentrations revealed that their respective baseline concentrations were not influenced by the mouse genotype. On the other hand, the accumulation of frontocortical and/or hippocampal 2-AG levels in JZL195-pretreated mice was dependent on the mouse genotype. Thus, JZL195-induced 2-AG accumulation rates were diminished in the frontal cortex of mice lacking CB1 receptors in glutamatergic neurons whilst their respective values were increased in the frontal cortex and hippocampus of mice lacking these receptors in astrocytes. These genotypic differences occurred with parallel and proportionate changes in the fractional rate constants for degradation of 2-AG, thus providing a mechanism whereby the baseline levels of 2-AG remained constant between genotypes. Besides suggesting a cell-type-specific control of frontocortical and/or hippocampal 2-AG synthesis and degradation rates by CB1 receptors, this study highlights the interest of assessing endocannabinoid turnover rates when questioning the status of the endocannabinoid system. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

26/12/2014 | Behav Brain Res   IF 3.4
Duration- and environment-dependent effects of repeated voluntary exercise on anxiety and cued fear in mice.
Dubreucq S, Marsicano G, Chaouloff F

Several studies have indicated that animal models of exercise, such as voluntary wheel running, might be endowed with anxiolytic properties. Using the light/dark test of unconditioned anxiety, we have reported that one confounding factor in the estimation of wheel running impacts on anxiety might be the housing condition of the sedentary controls. The present mouse study analyzed whether the aforementioned observation in the light/dark test (i) could be repeated in the elevated plus-maze and social interaction tests of unconditioned anxiety, (ii) extended to conditioned anxiety, as assessed during cued fear recall tests, and (iii) required unlimited daily access to the running wheel. Housing with a locked wheel or with a free wheel that allowed limited or unlimited running activity triggered anxiolysis in the light/dark test, but not in the elevated plus-maze test, compared to standard housing. In the social interaction test, the duration, but not the number, of social contacts was increased in mice provided unlimited (but not limited) access to a wheel, compared to standard housing or housing with a locked wheel. Lastly, freezing responses to a cue during fear recall tests indicated that the reduction in freezing observed in mice provided limited or unlimited access to the wheels was fully accounted for by housing with a wheel. Besides confirming that the housing condition of the sedentary controls might bias the estimation of the effects of wheel running on anxiety, this study further shows that this estimation is dependent on the test used to assess anxiety.

02/12/2014 | Endocrinology   IF 4.6
Cannabinoid type 1 (CB) receptors on Sim1-expressing neurons regulate energy expenditure in male mice.
Cardinal P, Bellocchio L, Guzman-Quevedo O, Andre C, Clark S, Elie M, Leste-Lasserre T, Gonzales D, Cannich A, Marsicano G, Cota D

The paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) regulates energy balance by modulating not only food intake, but also energy expenditure and brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis. To test the hypothesis that cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor in PVN neurons might control these processes, we used the Cre/loxP system to delete CB1 from Single minded 1 (Sim1) neurons, which account for the majority of PVN neurons. On standard chow, mice lacking CB1 receptor in Sim1 neurons (Sim1-CB1-KO) had food intake, body weight, adiposity, glucose metabolism and energy expenditure comparable to wild-type (Sim1-CB1-WT) littermates. However, maintenance on a high-fat diet (HFD) revealed a gene-by-diet interaction whereby Sim1-CB1-KO mice had decreased adiposity, improved insulin sensitivity and increased energy expenditure, while feeding behavior was similar to Sim1-CB1-WT mice. Additionally, HFD-fed Sim1-CB1-KO mice had increased mRNA expression of the beta3-adrenergic receptor, as well as of UCP-1, Cox-IV and Tfam in the BAT, all molecular changes suggestive of increased thermogenesis. Pharmacological studies using beta-blockers suggested that modulation of beta-adrenergic transmission play an important role in determining energy expenditure changes observed in Sim1-CB1-KO. Finally, chemical sympathectomy abolished the obesity-resistant phenotype of Sim1-CB1-KO mice. Altogether, these findings reveal a diet-dependent dissociation in the CB1 receptor control of food intake and energy expenditure, likely mediated by the PVN, where CB1 receptors on Sim1-positive neurons do not impact food intake, but hinder energy expenditure during dietary environmental challenges that promote body weight gain.

10/2014 | Mol Metab
CB1 cannabinoid receptor in SF1-expressing neurons of the ventromedial hypothalamus determines metabolic responses to diet and leptin.
Cardinal P, Andre C, Quarta C, Bellocchio L, Clark S, Elie M, Leste-Lasserre T, Maitre M, Gonzales D, Cannich A, Pagotto U, Marsicano G, Cota D

Metabolic flexibility allows rapid adaptation to dietary change, however, little is known about the CNS mechanisms regulating this process. Neurons in the hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus (VMN) participate in energy balance and are the target of the metabolically relevant hormone leptin. Cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptors are expressed in VMN neurons, but the specific contribution of endocannabinoid signaling in this neuronal population to energy balance regulation is unknown. Here we demonstrate that VMN CB1 receptors regulate metabolic flexibility and actions of leptin. In chow-fed mice, conditional deletion of CB1 in VMN neurons (expressing the steroidogenic factor 1, SF1) decreases adiposity by increasing sympathetic activity and lipolysis, and facilitates metabolic effects of leptin. Conversely, under high-fat diet, lack of CB1 in VMN neurons produces leptin resistance, blunts peripheral use of lipid substrates and increases adiposity. Thus, CB1 receptors in VMN neurons provide a molecular switch adapting the organism to dietary change.

26/09/2014 | Mol Cell Endocrinol   IF 4.2
New insights on food intake control by olfactory processes: The emerging role of the endocannabinoid system.
Soria-Gomez E, Bellocchio L, Marsicano G

The internal state of the organism is an important modulator of perception and behavior. The link between hunger, olfaction and feeding behavior is one of the clearest examples of these connections. At the neurobiological level, olfactory circuits are the targets of several signals (i.e. hormones and nutrients) involved in energy balance. Indicating that olfactory areas are potential sensors of the internal state of the organism. Thus, the aim of this manuscript is to review the literature showing the interplay between metabolic signals in olfactory circuits and its impact on food intake.

17/09/2014 | J Neurosci   IF 6.7
Enhanced endocannabinoid-mediated modulation of rostromedial tegmental nucleus drive onto dopamine neurons in Sardinian alcohol-preferring rats.
Melis M, Sagheddu C, De Felice M, Casti A, Madeddu C, Spiga S, Muntoni AL, Mackie K, Marsicano G, Colombo G, Castelli MP, Pistis M

The progressive predominance of rewarding effects of addictive drugs over their aversive properties likely contributes to the transition from drug use to drug dependence. By inhibiting the activity of DA neurons in the VTA, GABA projections from the rostromedial tegmental nucleus (RMTg) are well suited to shift the balance between drug-induced reward and aversion. Since cannabinoids suppress RMTg inputs to DA cells and CB1 receptors affect alcohol intake in rodents, we hypothesized that the endocannabinoid system, by modulating this pathway, might contribute to alcohol preference. Here we found that RMTg afferents onto VTA DA neurons express CB1 receptors and display a 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG)-dependent form of short-term plasticity, that is, depolarization-induced suppression of inhibition (DSI). Next, we compared rodents with innate opposite alcohol preference, the Sardinian alcohol-preferring (sP) and alcohol-nonpreferring (sNP) rats. We found that DA cells from alcohol-naive sP rats displayed a decreased probability of GABA release and a larger DSI. This difference was due to the rate of 2-AG degradation. In vivo, we found a reduced RMTg-induced inhibition of putative DA neurons in sP rats that negatively correlated with an increased firing. Finally, alcohol failed to enhance RMTg spontaneous activity and to prolong RMTg-induced silencing of putative DA neurons in sP rats. Our results indicate functional modifications of RMTg projections to DA neurons that might impact the reward/aversion balance of alcohol attributes, which may contribute to the innate preference observed in sP rats and to their elevated alcohol intake.

07/2014 | Mol Metab
Cannabinoid control of brain bioenergetics: Exploring the subcellular localization of the CB1 receptor.
Hebert-Chatelain E, Reguero L, Puente N, Lutz B, Chaouloff F, Rossignol R, Piazza PV, Benard G, Grandes P, Marsicano G

Brain mitochondrial activity is centrally involved in the central control of energy balance. When studying mitochondrial functions in the brain, however, discrepant results might be obtained, depending on the experimental approaches. For instance, immunostaining experiments and biochemical isolation of organelles expose investigators to risks of false positive and/or false negative results. As an example, the functional presence of cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors on brain mitochondrial membranes (mtCB1) was recently reported and rapidly challenged, claiming that the original observation was likely due to artifact results. Here, we addressed this issue by directly comparing the procedures used in the two studies. Our results show that the use of appropriate controls and quantifications allows detecting mtCB1 receptor with CB1 receptor antibodies, and that, if mitochondrial fractions are enriched and purified, CB1 receptor agonists reliably decrease respiration in brain mitochondria. These data further underline the importance of adapted experimental procedures to study brain mitochondrial functions.

07/2014 | Mol Metab
Studying mitochondrial CB1 receptors: Yes we can.
Hebert-Chatelain E, Reguero L, Puente N, Lutz B, Chaouloff F, Rossignol R, Piazza PV, Benard G, Grandes P, Marsicano G

28/03/2014 | Neuroscience   IF 3.3
Cannabinoid type-1 receptors in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus inhibit stimulated food intake.
Soria-Gomez E, Massa F, Bellocchio L, Rueda-Orozco PE, Ciofi P, Cota D, Oliet SH, Prospero-Garcia O, Marsicano G

Cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1)-dependent signaling in the brain is known to modulate food intake. Recent evidence has actually shown that CB1 can both inhibit and stimulate food intake in fasting/refeeding conditions, depending on the specific neuronal circuits involved. However, the exact brain sites where this bimodal control is exerted and the underlying neurobiological mechanisms are not fully understood yet. Using pharmacological and electrophysiological approaches, we show that local CB1 blockade in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) increases fasting-induced hyperphagia in rats. Furthermore, local CB1 blockade in the PVN also increases the orexigenic effect of the gut hormone ghrelin in animals fed ad libitum. At the electrophysiological level, CB1 blockade in slices containing the PVN potentiates the decrease of the activity of PVN neurons induced by long-term application of ghrelin. Hence, the PVN is (one of) the site(s) where signals associated with the body's energy status determine the direction of the effects of endocannabinoid signaling on food intake.

03/2014 | Nat Neurosci   IF 15
The endocannabinoid system controls food intake via olfactory processes.
Soria-Gomez E, Bellocchio L, Reguero L, Lepousez G, Martin C, Bendahmane M, Ruehle S, Remmers F, Desprez T, Matias I, Wiesner T, Cannich A, Nissant A, Wadleigh A, Pape HC, Chiarlone AP, Quarta C, Verrier D, Vincent P, Massa F, Lutz B, Guzman M, Gurden H, Ferreira G, Lledo PM, Grandes P, Marsicano G

Hunger arouses sensory perception, eventually leading to an increase in food intake, but the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. We found that cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptors promote food intake in fasted mice by increasing odor detection. CB1 receptors were abundantly expressed on axon terminals of centrifugal cortical glutamatergic neurons that project to inhibitory granule cells of the main olfactory bulb (MOB). Local pharmacological and genetic manipulations revealed that endocannabinoids and exogenous cannabinoids increased odor detection and food intake in fasted mice by decreasing excitatory drive from olfactory cortex areas to the MOB. Consistently, cannabinoid agonists dampened in vivo optogenetically stimulated excitatory transmission in the same circuit. Our data indicate that cortical feedback projections to the MOB crucially regulate food intake via CB1 receptor signaling, linking the feeling of hunger to stronger odor processing. Thus, CB1 receptor-dependent control of cortical feedback projections in olfactory circuits couples internal states to perception and behavior.

02/2014 | Mol Neurobiol   IF 5.3
Glycogen synthase kinase-3beta is involved in electroacupuncture pretreatment via the cannabinoid CB1 receptor in ischemic stroke.
Wei H, Yao X, Yang L, Wang S, Guo F, Zhou H, Marsicano G, Wang Q, Xiong L

We have previously shown that electroacupuncture (EA) pretreatment produces neuroprotective effects, which were mediated through an endocannabinoid signal transduction mechanism. Herein, we have studied the possible contribution of the phosphorylated form of glycogen synthase kinase-3beta (GSK-3beta) in EA pretreatment-induced neuroprotection via the cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1R). Focal transient cerebral ischemia was induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats. Phosphorylation of GSK-3beta at Ser-9 [p-GSK-3beta (Ser-9)] was evaluated in the penumbra tissue following reperfusion. Infarct size and neurological score were assessed in the presence of either PI3K inhibitors or a GSK-3beta inhibitor 72 h after reperfusion. Cellular apoptosis was evidenced by TUNEL staining and determination of the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio 24 h after reperfusion. The present study showed that EA pretreatment increased p-GSK-3beta(Ser-9) 2 h after reperfusion in the ipsilateral penumbra. Augmented phosphorylation of GSK-3beta induced similar neuroprotective effects as did EA pretreatment. By contrast, inhibition of PI3K dampened the levels of p-GSK-3beta(Ser-9), and reversed not only the neuroprotective effect but also the anti-apoptotic effect following EA pretreatment. Regulation of GSK-3beta by EA pretreatment was abolished following treatment with a CB1R antagonist and CB1R knockdown, whereas two CB1R agonists enhanced the phosphorylation of GSK-3beta. Therefore we conclude that EA pretreatment protects against cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury through CB1R-mediated phosphorylation of GSK-3beta.

03/01/2014 | Science   IF 31.5
Pregnenolone can protect the brain from cannabis intoxication.
Vallee M, Vitiello S, Bellocchio L, Hebert-Chatelain E, Monlezun S, Martin-Garcia E, Kasanetz F, Baillie GL, Panin F, Cathala A, Roullot-Lacarriere V, Fabre S, Hurst DP, Lynch DL, Shore DM, Deroche-Gamonet V, Spampinato U, Revest JM, Maldonado R, Reggio PH, Ross RA, Marsicano G, Piazza PV

Pregnenolone is considered the inactive precursor of all steroid hormones, and its potential functional effects have been largely uninvestigated. The administration of the main active principle of Cannabis sativa (marijuana), Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), substantially increases the synthesis of pregnenolone in the brain via activation of the type-1 cannabinoid (CB1) receptor. Pregnenolone then, acting as a signaling-specific inhibitor of the CB1 receptor, reduces several effects of THC. This negative feedback mediated by pregnenolone reveals a previously unknown paracrine/autocrine loop protecting the brain from CB1 receptor overactivation that could open an unforeseen approach for the treatment of cannabis intoxication and addiction.

01/2014 | Faseb J   IF 5.5
Control of spasticity in a multiple sclerosis model using central nervous system-excluded CB1 cannabinoid receptor agonists.
Pryce G, Visintin C, Ramagopalan SV, Al-Izki S, De Faveri LE, Nuamah RA, Mein CA, Montpetit A, Hardcastle AJ, Kooij G, de Vries HE, Amor S, Thomas SA, Ledent C, Marsicano G, Lutz B, Thompson AJ, Selwood DL, Giovannoni G, Baker D

The purpose of this study was the generation of central nervous system (CNS)-excluded cannabinoid receptor agonists to test the hypothesis that inhibition of spasticity, due to CNS autoimmunity, could be controlled by affecting neurotransmission within the periphery. Procedures included identification of chemicals and modeling to predict the mode of exclusion; induction and control of spasticity in the ABH mouse model of multiple sclerosis; conditional deletion of CB1 receptor in peripheral nerves; side-effect profiling to demonstrate the mechanism of CNS-exclusion via drug pumps; genome-wide association study in N2(129xABH) backcross to map polymorphic cannabinoid drug pump; and sequencing and detection of cannabinoid drug-pump activity in human brain endothelial cell lines. Three drugs (CT3, SAB378 and SAD448) were identified that control spasticity via action on the peripheral nerve CB1 receptor. These were peripherally restricted via drug pumps that limit the CNS side effects (hypothermia) of cannabinoids to increase the therapeutic window. A cannabinoid drug pump is polymorphic and functionally lacking in many laboratory (C57BL/6, 129, CD-1) mice used for transgenesis, pharmacology, and toxicology studies. This phenotype was mapped and controlled by 1-3 genetic loci. ABCC1 within a cluster showing linkage is a cannabinoid CNS-drug pump. Global and conditional CB1 receptor-knockout mice were used as controls. In summary, CNS-excluded CB1 receptor agonists are a novel class of therapeutic agent for spasticity.

11/12/2013 | J Neurosci   IF 6.9
Stress switches cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptor-dependent plasticity from LTD to LTP in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis.
Glangetas C, Girard D, Groc L, Marsicano G, Chaouloff F, Georges F

The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) exerts a coordinated modulation of the psychoneuroendocrine responses to stress. However, how acute stress impacts on BNST in vivo plasticity is a crucial question that still remains unanswered. Here, neurons from the anterior portion of the BNST (aBNST) were recorded in vivo during and after stimulation of their medial prefrontal cortical (mPFC) afferents. In C57BL/6N mice, a 1 h restraint stress induced a switch from long-term depression (LTD) to long-term potentiation (LTP) in the aBNST after a 10 Hz mPFC stimulation. This switch was independent from glucocorticoid receptor stimulation. Because the endocannabinoid system regulates aBNST activity, we next examined the role of cannabinoid type-1 receptors (CB1-Rs) in these changes. Mutant mice lacking CB1-Rs (CB1(-/-) mice) displayed a marked deficit in the ability to develop plasticity under control and stress conditions, compared with their wild-type littermates (CB1(+/+) mice). This difference was not accounted for by genetic differences in stress sensitivity, as revealed by Fos immunohistochemistry analyses. Local blockade of CB1-Rs in the aBNST and the use of mutant mice bearing a selective deletion of CB1-Rs in cortical glutamatergic neurons indicated that stress-elicited LTP involved CB1-Rs located on aBNST excitatory terminals. These results show that acute stress reverts LTD into LTP in the aBNST and that the endocannabinoid system plays a key role therein.

05/09/2013 | Brain Res   IF 2.9
Activation of STAT3 is involved in neuroprotection by electroacupuncture pretreatment via cannabinoid CB1 receptors in rats.
Zhou H, Zhang Z, Wei H, Wang F, Guo F, Gao Z, Marsicano G, Wang Q, Xiong L

Pretreatment with electroacupuncture (EA) attenuates cerebral ischemic injury through the endocannabinoid system, although the molecular mechanisms mediate this neuroprotection are unknown. It is well-known that signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) plays an essential role in cell survival and proliferation. Therefore, we investigated whether STAT3 is involved in EA pretreatment-induced neuroprotection via cannabinoid CB1 receptors (CB1R) after transient focal cerebral ischemia in rats. Two hours after EA pretreatment, focal cerebral ischemia was induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MACO) for 120 min. The expression of pSTAT3(Ser727), which is necessary for STAT3 activation, was examined in the ipsilateral ischemic penumbra. Infarct volumes and neurological scores were evaluated at 72 h after MACO in the presence or absence of the STAT3 inhibitor peptide (PpYLKTK). Neuronal apoptosis and the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio were also evaluated 24h after reperfusion. Our results showed that EA pretreatment significantly enhanced neuronal expression of pSTAT3(Ser727) in the ischemic penumbra 6h after reperfusion. Moreover, EA pretreatment reduced infarct volume, improved neurological outcome, inhibited neuronal apoptosis and decreased the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio following reperfusion. The beneficial effects of EA were attenuated by PpYLKTK administered 30 min before MACO, and PpYLKTK effectively reversed the increase in pSTAT3(Ser727) expression. Furthermore, CB1R antagonist or CB1R knockdown with siRNA blocked the elevation of pSTAT3(Ser727) expression by EA pretreatment, whereas the two CB1R agonists increased STAT3 activation. In conclusion, EA pretreatment enhances STAT3 activation via CB1R to protect against cerebral ischemia, suggesting that STAT3 activation may be a novel target for stroke intervention.

19/06/2013 | J Neurosci   IF 6.9
Cannabinoid CB1 Receptor in Dorsal Telencephalic Glutamatergic Neurons: Distinctive Sufficiency for Hippocampus-Dependent and Amygdala-Dependent Synaptic and Behavioral Functions.
Ruehle S, Remmers F, Romo-Parra H, Massa F, Wickert M, Wortge S, Haring M, Kaiser N, Marsicano G, Pape HC, Lutz B

A major goal in current neuroscience is to understand the causal links connecting protein functions, neural activity, and behavior. The cannabinoid CB1 receptor is expressed in different neuronal subpopulations, and is engaged in fine-tuning excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission. Studies using conditional knock-out mice revealed necessary roles of CB1 receptor expressed in dorsal telencephalic glutamatergic neurons in synaptic plasticity and behavior, but whether this expression is also sufficient for brain functions is still to be determined. We applied a genetic strategy to reconstitute full wild-type CB1 receptor functions exclusively in dorsal telencephalic glutamatergic neurons and investigated endocannabinoid-dependent synaptic processes and behavior. Using this approach, we partly restored the phenotype of global CB1 receptor deletion in anxiety-like behaviors and fully restored hippocampus-dependent neuroprotection from chemically induced epileptiform seizures. These features coincided with a rescued hippocampal depolarization-induced suppression of excitation (DSE), a CB1 receptor-dependent form of synaptic plasticity at glutamatergic neurons. By comparison, the rescue of the CB1 receptor on dorsal telencephalic glutamatergic neurons prolonged the time course of DSE in the amygdala, and impaired fear extinction in auditory fear conditioning. These data reveal that CB1 receptor in dorsal telencephalic glutamatergic neurons plays a sufficient role to control neuronal functions that are in large part hippocampus-dependent, while it is insufficient for proper amygdala functions, suggesting an unexpectedly complex circuit regulation by endocannabinoid signaling in the amygdala. Our data pave the way to a better understanding of neuronal networks in the context of behavior, by fine-tuned interference with synaptic transmission processes.

06/2013 | Neuropsychopharmacology
Dissociation of the pharmacological effects of THC by mTOR blockade.
Puighermanal E, Busquets-Garcia A, Gomis-Gonzalez M, Marsicano G, Maldonado R, Ozaita A

The potential therapeutic benefits of cannabinoid compounds have raised interest in understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie cannabinoid-mediated effects. We previously showed that the acute amnesic-like effects of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) were prevented by the subchronic inhibition of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway. In the present study, we assess the relevance of the mTOR pathway in other acute and chronic pharmacological effects of THC. The rapamycin derivative temsirolimus, an inhibitor of the mTOR pathway approved by the Food and Drug Administration, prevents both the anxiogenic- and the amnesic-like effects produced by acute THC. In contrast, THC-induced anxiolysis, hypothermia, hypolocomotion, and antinociception are not sensitive to the mTOR inhibition. In addition, a clear tolerance to THC-induced anxiolysis, hypothermia, hypolocomotion, and antinociception was observed after chronic treatment, but not to its anxiogenic- and amnesic-like effects. Temsirolimus pre-treatment prevented the amnesic-like effects of chronic THC without affecting the downregulation of CB1 receptors (CB1R) induced by this chronic treatment. Instead, temsirolimus blockade after chronic THC cessation did not prevent the residual cognitive deficit produced by chronic THC. Using conditional knockout mice lacking CB1R in GABAergic or glutamatergic neurons, we found that GABAergic CB1Rs are mainly downregulated under chronic THC treatment conditions, and CB1-GABA-KO mice did not develop cognitive deficits after chronic THC exposure. Therefore, mTOR inhibition by temsirolimus allows the segregation of the potentially beneficial effects of cannabinoid agonists, such as the anxiolytic and antinociceptive effects, from the negative effects, such as anxiogenic- and amnesic-like responses. Altogether, these results provide new insights for targeting the endocannabinoid system in order to prevent possible side effects.

01/05/2013 | Biol Psychiatry
Ventral tegmental area cannabinoid type-1 receptors control voluntary exercise performance.
Dubreucq S, Durand A, Matias I, Benard G, Richard E, Soria-Gomez E, Glangetas C, Groc L, Wadleigh A, Massa F, Bartsch D, Marsicano G, Georges F, Chaouloff F

BACKGROUND: We have shown that the endogenous stimulation of cannabinoid type-1 (CB(1)) receptors is a prerequisite for voluntary running in mice, but the precise mechanisms through which the endocannabinoid system exerts a tonic control on running performance remain unknown. METHODS: We analyzed the respective impacts of constitutive/conditional CB(1) receptor mutations and of CB(1) receptor blockade on wheel-running performance. We then assessed the consequences of ventral tegmental area (VTA) CB(1) receptor blockade on the wheel-running performances of wildtype (gamma-aminobutyric acid [GABA]-CB(1)(+)/(+)) and mutant (GABA-CB(1)(-)/(-)) mice for CB(1) receptors in brain GABA neurons. Using in vivo electrophysiology, the consequences of wheel running on VTA dopamine (DA) neuronal activity were examined in GABA-CB(1)(+)/(+) and GABA-CB(1)(-)/(-) mice. RESULTS: Conditional deletion of CB(1) receptors from brain GABA neurons, but not from several other neuronal populations or from astrocytes, decreased wheel-running performance in mice. The inhibitory consequences of either the systemic or the intra-VTA administration of CB1 receptor antagonists on running behavior were abolished in GABA-CB(1)(-)/(-) mice. The absence of CB1 receptors from GABAergic neurons led to a depression of VTA DA neuronal activity after acute/repeated wheel running. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides evidence that CB(1) receptors on VTA GABAergic terminals exert a permissive control on rodent voluntary running performance. Furthermore, it is shown that CB(1) receptors located on GABAergic neurons impede negative consequences of voluntary exercise on VTA DA neuronal activity. These results position the endocannabinoid control of inhibitory transmission as a prerequisite for wheel-running performance in mice.

19/03/2013 | Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Activation of the sympathetic nervous system mediates hypophagic and anxiety-like effects of CB(1) receptor blockade.
Bellocchio L, Soria-Gomez E, Quarta C, Metna-Laurent M, Cardinal P, Binder E, Cannich A, Delamarre A, Haring M, Martin-Fontecha M, Vega D, Leste-Lasserre T, Bartsch D, Monory K, Lutz B, Chaouloff F, Pagotto U, Guzman M, Cota D, Marsicano G

Complex interactions between periphery and the brain regulate food intake in mammals. Cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptor antagonists are potent hypophagic agents, but the sites where this acute action is exerted and the underlying mechanisms are not fully elucidated. To dissect the mechanisms underlying the hypophagic effect of CB1 receptor blockade, we combined the acute injection of the CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant with the use of conditional CB1-knockout mice, as well as with pharmacological modulation of different central and peripheral circuits. Fasting/refeeding experiments revealed that CB1 receptor signaling in many specific brain neurons is dispensable for the acute hypophagic effects of rimonabant. CB1 receptor antagonist-induced hypophagia was fully abolished by peripheral blockade of beta-adrenergic transmission, suggesting that this effect is mediated by increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system. Consistently, we found that rimonabant increases gastrointestinal metabolism via increased peripheral beta-adrenergic receptor signaling in peripheral organs, including the gastrointestinal tract. Blockade of both visceral afferents and glutamatergic transmission in the nucleus tractus solitarii abolished rimonabant-induced hypophagia. Importantly, these mechanisms were specifically triggered by lipid-deprivation, revealing a nutrient-specific component acutely regulated by CB1 receptor blockade. Finally, peripheral blockade of sympathetic neurotransmission also blunted central effects of CB1 receptor blockade, such as fear responses and anxiety-like behaviors. These data demonstrate that, independently of their site of origin, important effects of CB1 receptor blockade are expressed via activation of peripheral sympathetic activity. Thus, CB1 receptors modulate bidirectional circuits between the periphery and the brain to regulate feeding and other behaviors.

03/2013 | J Neurochem   IF 4
Neuron-type specific cannabinoid-mediated G protein signalling in mouse hippocampus.
Steindel F, Lerner R, Haring M, Ruehle S, Marsicano G, Lutz B, Monory K

Type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1) is expressed in different neuronal populations in the mammalian brain. In particular, CB1 on GABAergic or glutamatergic neurons exerts different functions and display different pharmacological properties in vivo. This suggests the existence of neuron-type specific signalling pathways activated by different subpopulations of CB1. In this study, we analysed CB1 expression, binding and signalling in the hippocampus of conditional mutant mice, bearing CB1 deletion in GABAergic (GABA-CB1-KO mice) or cortical glutamatergic neurons (Glu-CB1-KO mice). Compared to their wild-type littermates, Glu-CB1-KO displayed a small decrease of CB1 mRNA amount, immunoreactivity and [(3)H]CP55,940 binding. Conversely, GABA-CB1-KO mice showed a drastic reduction of these parameters, confirming that CB1 is present at much higher density on hippocampal GABAergic interneurons than glutamatergic neurons. Surprisingly, however, saturation analysis of HU210-stimulated [(35) S]GTPgammaS binding demonstrated that 'glutamatergic' CB1 is more efficiently coupled to G protein signalling than 'GABAergic' CB1. Thus, the minority of CB1 on glutamatergic neurons is paradoxically several fold more strongly coupled to G protein signalling than 'GABAergic' CB1. This selective signalling mechanism raises the possibility of designing novel cannabinoid ligands that differentially activate only a subset of physiological effects of CB1 stimulation, thereby optimizing therapeutic action.

19/02/2013 | Biophys J   IF 3.7
Two-photon excitation STED microscopy in two colors in acute brain slices.
Bethge P, Chereau R, Avignone E, Marsicano G, Nagerl UV

Many cellular structures and organelles are too small to be properly resolved by conventional light microscopy. This is particularly true for dendritic spines and glial processes, which are very small, dynamic, and embedded in dense tissue, making it difficult to image them under realistic experimental conditions. Two-photon microscopy is currently the method of choice for imaging in thick living tissue preparations, both in acute brain slices and in vivo. However, the spatial resolution of a two-photon microscope, which is limited to ~350 nm by the diffraction of light, is not sufficient for resolving many important details of neural morphology, such as the width of spine necks or thin glial processes. Recently developed superresolution approaches, such as stimulated emission depletion microscopy, have set new standards of optical resolution in imaging living tissue. However, the important goal of superresolution imaging with significant subdiffraction resolution has not yet been accomplished in acute brain slices. To overcome this limitation, we have developed a new microscope based on two-photon excitation and pulsed stimulated emission depletion microscopy, which provides unprecedented spatial resolution and excellent experimental access in acute brain slices using a long-working distance objective. The new microscope improves on the spatial resolution of a regular two-photon microscope by a factor of four to six, and it is compatible with time-lapse and simultaneous two-color superresolution imaging in living cells. We demonstrate the potential of this nanoscopy approach for brain slice physiology by imaging the morphology of dendritic spines and microglial cells well below the surface of acute brain slices.

08/01/2013 | Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Striatal GABAergic and cortical glutamatergic neurons mediate contrasting effects of cannabinoids on cortical network synchrony.
Sales-Carbonell C, Rueda-Orozco PE, Soria-Gomez E, Buzsaki G, Marsicano G, Robbe D

Activation of type 1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1R) decreases GABA and glutamate release in cortical and subcortical regions, with complex outcomes on cortical network activity. To date there have been few attempts to disentangle the region- and cell-specific mechanisms underlying the effects of cannabinoids on cortical network activity in vivo. Here we addressed this issue by combining in vivo electrophysiological recordings with local and systemic pharmacological manipulations in conditional mutant mice lacking CB1R expression in different neuronal populations. First we report that cannabinoids induce hypersynchronous thalamocortical oscillations while decreasing the amplitude of faster cortical oscillations. Then we demonstrate that CB1R at striatonigral synapses (basal ganglia direct pathway) mediate the thalamocortical hypersynchrony, whereas activation of CB1R expressed in cortical glutamatergic neurons decreases cortical synchrony. Finally we show that activation of CB1 expressed in cortical glutamatergic neurons limits the cannabinoid-induced thalamocortical hypersynchrony. By reporting that CB1R activations in cortical and subcortical regions have contrasting effects on cortical synchrony, our study bridges the gap between cellular and in vivo network effects of cannabinoids. Incidentally, the thalamocortical hypersynchrony we report suggests a potential mechanism to explain the sensory 'high' experienced during recreational consumption of marijuana.

2013 | Mol Metab
Astroglial CB1 cannabinoid receptors regulate leptin signaling in mouse brain astrocytes.
Bosier B, Bellocchio L, Metna-Laurent M, Soria-Gomez E, Matias I, Hebert-Chatelain E, Cannich A, Maitre M, Leste-Lasserre T, Cardinal P, Mendizabal-Zubiaga J, Canduela MJ, Reguero L, Hermans E, Grandes P, Cota D, Marsicano G

Type-1 cannabinoid (CB1) and leptin (ObR) receptors regulate metabolic and astroglial functions, but the potential links between the two systems in astrocytes were not investigated so far. Genetic and pharmacological manipulations of CB1 receptor expression and activity in cultured cortical and hypothalamic astrocytes demonstrated that cannabinoid signaling controls the levels of ObR expression. Lack of CB1 receptors also markedly impaired leptin-mediated activation of signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 and 5 (STAT3 and STAT5) in astrocytes. In particular, CB1 deletion determined a basal overactivation of STAT5, thereby leading to the downregulation of ObR expression, and leptin failed to regulate STAT5-dependent glycogen storage in the absence of CB1 receptors. These results show that CB1 receptors directly interfere with leptin signaling and its ability to regulate glycogen storage, thereby representing a novel mechanism linking endocannabinoid and leptin signaling in the regulation of brain energy storage and neuronal functions.

18/12/2012 | Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Anti-inflammatory lipoxin A4 is an endogenous allosteric enhancer of CB1 cannabinoid receptor.
Pamplona FA, Ferreira J, Menezes de Lima O Jr, Duarte FS, Bento AF, Forner S, Villarinho JG, Bellocchio L, Wotjak CT, Lerner R, Monory K, Lutz B, Canetti C, Matias I, Calixto JB, Marsicano G, Guimaraes MZ, Takahashi RN

Allosteric modulation of G-protein-coupled receptors represents a key goal of current pharmacology. In particular, endogenous allosteric modulators might represent important targets of interventions aimed at maximizing therapeutic efficacy and reducing side effects of drugs. Here we show that the anti-inflammatory lipid lipoxin A(4) is an endogenous allosteric enhancer of the CB(1) cannabinoid receptor. Lipoxin A(4) was detected in brain tissues, did not compete for the orthosteric binding site of the CB(1) receptor (vs. (3)H-SR141716A), and did not alter endocannabinoid metabolism (as opposed to URB597 and MAFP), but it enhanced affinity of anandamide at the CB1 receptor, thereby potentiating the effects of this endocannabinoid both in vitro and in vivo. In addition, lipoxin A(4) displayed a CB(1) receptor-dependent protective effect against beta-amyloid (1-40)-induced spatial memory impairment in mice. The discovery of lipoxins as a class of endogenous allosteric modulators of CB(1) receptors may foster the therapeutic exploitation of the endocannabinoid system, in particular for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders.

09/2012 | Endocrinology   IF 4.7
Hypothalamic CB1 Cannabinoid Receptors Regulate Energy Balance in Mice.
Cardinal P , Bellocchio L , Clark S , Cannich A , Klugmann M , Lutz B , Marsicano G , Cota D

Cannabinoid type 1 (CB(1)) receptor activation is generally considered a powerful orexigenic signal and inhibition of the endocannabinoid system is beneficial for the treatment of obesity and related metabolic diseases. The hypothalamus plays a critical role in regulating energy balance by modulating both food intake and energy expenditure. Although CB(1) receptor signaling has been implicated in the modulation of both these mechanisms, a complete understanding of its role in the hypothalamus is still lacking. Here we combined a genetic approach with the use of adeno-associated viral vectors to delete the CB(1) receptor gene in the adult mouse hypothalamus and assessed the impact of such manipulation on the regulation of energy balance. Viral-mediated deletion of the CB(1) receptor gene in the hypothalamus led to the generation of Hyp-CB(1)-KO mice, which displayed an approximately 60% decrease in hypothalamic CB(1) receptor mRNA levels. Hyp-CB(1)-KO mice maintained on a normocaloric, standard diet showed decreased body weight gain over time, which was associated with increased energy expenditure and elevated beta(3)-adrenergic receptor and uncoupling protein-1 mRNA levels in the brown adipose tissue but, surprisingly, not to changes in food intake. Additionally, Hyp-CB(1)-KO mice were insensitive to the anorectic action of the hormone leptin (5 mg/kg) and displayed a time-dependent hypophagic response to the CB(1) inverse agonist rimonabant (3 mg/kg). Altogether these findings suggest that hypothalamic CB(1) receptor signaling is a key determinant of energy expenditure under basal conditions and reveal its specific role in conveying the effects of leptin and pharmacological CB1 receptor antagonism on food intake.

07/2012 | Neuropsychopharmacology
Genetic dissection of the role of cannabinoid type-1 receptors in the emotional consequences of repeated social stress in mice.
Dubreucq S, Matias I, Cardinal P, Haring M, Lutz B, Marsicano G, Chaouloff F

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) tightly controls emotional responses to acute aversive stimuli. Repeated stress alters ECS activity but the role played by the ECS in the emotional consequences of repeated stress has not been investigated in detail. This study used social defeat stress, together with pharmacology and genetics to examine the role of cannabinoid type-1 (CB(1)) receptors on repeated stress-induced emotional alterations. Seven daily social defeat sessions increased water (but not food) intake, sucrose preference, anxiety, cued fear expression, and adrenal weight in C57BL/6N mice. The first and the last social stress sessions triggered immediate brain region-dependent changes in the concentrations of the principal endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol. Pretreatment before each of the seven stress sessions with the CB(1) receptor antagonist rimonabant prolonged freezing responses of stressed mice during cued fear recall tests. Repeated social stress abolished the increased fear expression displayed by constitutive CB(1) receptor-deficient mice. The use of mutant mice lacking CB(1) receptors from cortical glutamatergic neurons or from GABAergic neurons indicated that it is the absence of the former CB(1) receptor population that is responsible for the fear responses in socially stressed CB(1) mutant mice. In addition, stress-induced hypolocomotor reactivity was amplified by the absence of CB(1) receptors from GABAergic neurons. Mutant mice lacking CB(1) receptors from serotonergic neurons displayed a higher anxiety but decreased cued fear expression than their wild-type controls. These mutant mice failed to show social stress-elicited increased sucrose preference. This study shows that (i) release of endocannabinoids during stress exposure impedes stress-elicited amplification of cued fear behavior, (ii) social stress opposes the increased fear expression and delayed between-session extinction because of the absence of CB(1) receptors from cortical glutamatergic neurons, and (iii) CB(1) receptors on central serotonergic neurons are involved in the sweet consumption response to repeated stress.

The cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) is abundantly expressed in the central nervous system where it negatively controls the release of several neurotransmitters. CB1 activity plays a crucial role in learning and memory and in synaptic plasticity. In the present study, the role of CB1 was investigated in three different hippocampus-dependent memory tasks and in in vivo hippocampal synaptic plasticity in knockout (CB1-ko) and wildtype mice. There was no difference in short-term and long-term social and object recognition memory between CB1-ko and wildtype mice. In contrast, in background contextual fear conditioning CB1-ko mice showed enhanced freezing levels in the conditioning context and increased generalised contextual fear after a high-intensity conditioning foot shock of 1.5 mA, but not after 0.7 mA. In in vivo field potential recordings in the dentate gyrus, CB1-ko mice displayed a decreased paired-pulse facilitation of the populations spikes, suggesting an altered inhibitory synaptic drive onto hippocampal granule cells. Furthermore, CB1-ko mice displayed significantly higher levels of in vivo long-term potentiation (LTP) in the dentate gyrus. In conclusion, CB1 deficiency leads to enhanced contextual fear memory and altered synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus, supporting the key role of endocannabinoid signalling in learning and memory, in particular following highly aversive encounters.

06/2012 | Int J Obes (Lond)
Simultaneous postprandial deregulation of the orexigenic endocannabinoid anandamide and the anorexigenic peptide YY in obesity.
Cherifi-Gatta B, Matias I, Vallee M, Tabarin A, Marsicano G, Piazza PV, Cota D

BACKGROUND: The endocannabinoid system is a potential pharmacotherapy target for obesity. However, the role of this system in human food intake regulation is currently unknown. METHODS: To test whether circulating endocannabinoids might functionally respond to food intake and verify whether these orexigenic signals are deregulated in obesity alongside with anorexigenic ones, we measured plasma anandamide (AEA), 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and peptide YY (PYY) changes in response to a meal in 12 normal-weight and 12 non-diabetic, insulin-resistant obese individuals. RESULTS: Both normal-weight and obese subjects had a significant preprandial AEA peak. Postprandially, AEA levels significantly decreased in normal-weight, whereas no significant changes were observed in obese subjects. Similarly, PYY levels significantly increased in normal-weight subjects only. No meal-related changes were found for 2-AG. Postprandial AEA and PYY changes inversely correlated with waist circumference, and independently explained 20.7 and 21.3% of waist variance. Multiple regression analysis showed that postprandial AEA and PYY changes explained 34% of waist variance, with 8.2% of the variance commonly explained. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that AEA might be a physiological meal initiator in humans and furthermore show that postprandially AEA and PYY are concomitantly deregulated in obesity.

23/05/2012 | J Neurosci   IF 6.9
Bimodal control of fear-coping strategies by CB(1) cannabinoid receptors.
Metna-Laurent M, Soria-Gomez E, Verrier D, Conforzi M, Jego P, Lafenetre P, Marsicano G

To maximize their chances of survival, animals need to rapidly and efficiently respond to aversive situations. These responses can be classified as active or passive and depend on the specific nature of threats, but also on individual fear coping styles. In this study, we show that the control of excitatory and inhibitory brain neurons by type-1 cannabinoid (CB(1)) receptors is a key determinant of fear coping strategies in mice. In classical fear conditioning, a switch between initially predominant passive fear responses (freezing) and active behaviors (escape attempts and risk assessment) develops over time. Constitutive genetic deletion of CB(1) receptors in CB(1)(-)/(-) mice disrupted this pattern by favoring passive responses. This phenotype can be ascribed to endocannabinoid control of excitatory neurons, because it was reproduced in conditional mutant mice lacking CB(1) receptors from cortical glutamatergic neurons. CB(1) receptor deletion from GABAergic brain neurons led to the opposite phenotype, characterized by the predominance of active coping. The CB(1) receptor agonist Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol exerted a biphasic control of fear coping strategies, with lower and higher doses favoring active and passive responses, respectively. Finally, viral re-expression of CB(1) receptors in the amygdala of CB(1)(-)/(-) mice restored the normal switch between the two coping strategies. These data strongly suggest that CB(1) receptor signaling bimodally controls the spontaneous adoption of active or passive coping strategies in individuals. This primary function of the endocannabinoid system in shaping individual behavioral traits should be considered when studying the mechanisms of physiological and pathological fear.

04/2012 | Nat Neurosci   IF 15.3
Mitochondrial CB(1) receptors regulate neuronal energy metabolism.
Benard G, Massa F, Puente N, Lourenco J, Bellocchio L, Soria-Gomez E, Matias I, Delamarre A, Metna-Laurent M, Cannich A, Hebert-Chatelain E, Mulle C, Ortega-Gutierrez S, Martin-Fontecha M, Klugmann M, Guggenhuber S, Lutz B, Gertsch J, Chaouloff F, Lopez-Rodriguez ML, Grandes P, Rossignol R, Marsicano G

The mammalian brain is one of the organs with the highest energy demands, and mitochondria are key determinants of its functions. Here we show that the type-1 cannabinoid receptor (CB(1)) is present at the membranes of mouse neuronal mitochondria (mtCB(1)), where it directly controls cellular respiration and energy production. Through activation of mtCB(1) receptors, exogenous cannabinoids and in situ endocannabinoids decreased cyclic AMP concentration, protein kinase A activity, complex I enzymatic activity and respiration in neuronal mitochondria. In addition, intracellular CB(1) receptors and mitochondrial mechanisms contributed to endocannabinoid-dependent depolarization-induced suppression of inhibition in the hippocampus. Thus, mtCB(1) receptors directly modulate neuronal energy metabolism, revealing a new mechanism of action of G protein-coupled receptor signaling in the brain.

02/03/2012 | Cell   IF 32
Acute cannabinoids impair working memory through astroglial CB1 receptor modulation of hippocampal LTD.
Han J, Kesner P, Metna-Laurent M, Duan T, Xu L, Georges F, Koehl M, Abrous DN, Mendizabal-Zubiaga J, Grandes P, Liu Q, Bai G, Wang W, Xiong L, Ren W, Marsicano G, Zhang X

Impairment of working memory is one of the most important deleterious effects of marijuana intoxication in humans, but its underlying mechanisms are presently unknown. Here, we demonstrate that the impairment of spatial working memory (SWM) and in vivo long-term depression (LTD) of synaptic strength at hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses, induced by an acute exposure of exogenous cannabinoids, is fully abolished in conditional mutant mice lacking type-1 cannabinoid receptors (CB(1)R) in brain astroglial cells but is conserved in mice lacking CB(1)R in glutamatergic or GABAergic neurons. Blockade of neuronal glutamate N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDAR) and of synaptic trafficking of glutamate alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazole propionic acid receptors (AMPAR) also abolishes cannabinoid effects on SWM and LTD induction and expression. We conclude that the impairment of working memory by marijuana and cannabinoids is due to the activation of astroglial CB(1)R and is associated with astroglia-dependent hippocampal LTD in vivo.

01/03/2012 | Neuroscience   IF 3.1
Cannabinoid type 1 receptors located on single-minded 1-expressing neurons control emotional behaviors.
Dubreucq S, Kambire S, Conforzi M, Metna-Laurent M, Cannich A, Soria-Gomez E, Richard E, Marsicano G, Chaouloff F

This study has investigated the role of hypothalamic and amygdalar type-1 cannabinoid (CB1) receptors in the emotional and neuroendocrine responses to stress. To do so, we used the Cre/loxP system to generate conditional mutant mice lacking the CB1 gene in neurons expressing the transcription factor single-minded 1 (Sim1). This choice was dictated by former evidence for Sim1-Cre transgenic mice bearing Cre activity in all areas expressing Sim1, which chiefly includes the hypothalamus (especially the paraventricular nucleus, the supraoptic nucleus, and the posterior hypothalamus) and the mediobasal amygdala. Genomic DNA analyses in Sim1-CB1(-/-) mice indicated that the CB1 allele was excised from the hypothalamus and the amygdala, but not from the cortex, the striatum, the thalamus, the nucleus accumbens, the brainstem, the hippocampus, the pituitary gland, and the spinal cord. Double-fluorescent in situ hybridization experiments further indicated that Sim1-CB1(-/-) mice displayed a weaker CB1 receptor mRNA expression in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and the mediobasal part of the amygdala, compared to wild-type animals. Individually housed Sim1-CB1(-/-) mice and their Sim1-CB1(+/+) littermates were exposed to anxiety and fear memory tests under basal conditions as well as after acute/repeated social stress. A principal component analysis of the behaviors of Sim1-CB1(-/-) and Sim1-CB1(+/+) mice in anxiety tests (open field, elevated plus-maze, and light/dark box) revealed that CB1 receptors from Sim1-expressing neurons exert tonic, albeit opposite, controls of locomotor and anxiety reactivity to novel environments. No difference between genotypes was observed during the recall of contextual fear conditioning or during active avoidance learning. Sim1-CB1(-/-), but not Sim1-CB1(+/+), mice proved sensitive to an acute social stress as this procedure reverted the increased ambulation in the center of the open field. The stimulatory influence of repeated social stress on body and adrenal weights, water intake, and sucrose preference was similar in the two genotypes. On the other hand, repeated social stress abolished the decrease in cued-fear conditioned expression that was observed in Sim1-CB1(-/-) mice, compared to Sim1-CB1(+/+) mice. This study suggests that CB1 receptors located on Sim1-expressing neurons exert a tonic control on locomotor reactivity, unconditioned anxiety, and cued-fear expression under basal conditions as well as after acute or repeated stress.

01/2012 | Nat Neurosci   IF 15.3
Moving bliss: a new anandamide transporter.
Marsicano G, Chaouloff F

2012 | Sci Rep
Developmental regulation of CB1-mediated spike-time dependent depression at immature mossy fiber-CA3 synapses.
Caiati MD, Sivakumaran S, Lanore F, Mulle C, Richard E, Verrier D, Marsicano G, Miles R, Cherubini E

Early in postnatal life, mossy fibres (MF), the axons of granule cells in the dentate gyrus, release GABA which is depolarizing and excitatory. Synaptic currents undergo spike-time dependent long-term depression (STD-LTD) regardless of the temporal order of stimulation (pre versus post and viceversa). Here we show that at P3 but not at P21, STD-LTD, induced by negative pairing, is mediated by endocannabinoids mobilized from the postsynaptic cell during spiking-induced membrane depolarization. By diffusing backward, endocannabinoids activate cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptors probably expressed on MF. Thus, STD-LTD was prevented by CB1 receptor antagonists and was absent in CB1-KO mice. Consistent with these data, in situ hybridization experiments revealed detectable level of CB1 mRNA in the granule cell layer at P3 but not at P21. These results indicate that CB1 receptors are transiently expressed on immature MF terminals where they counteract the enhanced neuronal excitability induced by the excitatory action of GABA.

2012 | PLoS ONE   IF 3.7
Endocannabinoids measurement in human saliva as potential biomarker of obesity.
Matias I, Cherifi-Gatta B, Tabarin A, Clark S, Leste-Lasserre T, Marsicano G, Piazza PV, Cota D

BACKGROUND: The discovery of the endocannabinoid system and of its role in the regulation of energy balance has significantly advanced our understanding of the physiopathological mechanisms leading to obesity and type 2 diabetes. New knowledge on the role of this system in humans has been acquired by measuring blood endocannabinoids. Here we explored endocannabinoids and related N-acylethanolamines in saliva and verified their changes in relation to body weight status and in response to a meal or to body weight loss. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Fasting plasma and salivary endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines were measured through liquid mass spectrometry in 12 normal weight and 12 obese, insulin-resistant subjects. Salivary endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines were evaluated in the same cohort before and after the consumption of a meal. Changes in salivary endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines after body weight loss were investigated in a second group of 12 obese subjects following a 12-weeks lifestyle intervention program. The levels of mRNAs coding for enzymes regulating the metabolism of endocannabinoids, N-acylethanolamines and of cannabinoid type 1 (CB(1)) receptor, alongside endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines content, were assessed in human salivary glands. The endocannabinoids 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), N-arachidonoylethanolamide (anandamide, AEA), and the N-acylethanolamines (oleoylethanolamide, OEA and palmitoylethanolamide, PEA) were quantifiable in saliva and their levels were significantly higher in obese than in normal weight subjects. Fasting salivary AEA and OEA directly correlated with BMI, waist circumference and fasting insulin. Salivary endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines did not change in response to a meal. CB(1) receptors, ligands and enzymes were expressed in the salivary glands. Finally, a body weight loss of 5.3% obtained after a 12-weeks lifestyle program significantly decreased salivary AEA levels. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines are quantifiable in saliva and their levels correlate with obesity but not with feeding status. Body weight loss significantly decreases salivary AEA, which might represent a useful biomarker in obesity.

16/11/2011 | J Neurosci   IF 7.1
State-dependent, bidirectional modulation of neural network activity by endocannabinoids.
Piet R, Garenne A, Farrugia F, Le Masson G, Marsicano G, Chavis P, Manzoni OJ

The endocannabinoid (eCB) system and the cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1R) play key roles in the modulation of brain functions. Although actions of eCBs and CB1Rs are well described at the synaptic level, little is known of their modulation of neural activity at the network level. Using microelectrode arrays, we have examined the role of CB1R activation in the modulation of the electrical activity of rat and mice cortical neural networks in vitro. We find that exogenous activation of CB1Rs expressed on glutamatergic neurons decreases the spontaneous activity of cortical neural networks. Moreover, we observe that the net effect of the CB1R antagonist AM251 inversely correlates with the initial level of activity in the network: blocking CB1Rs increases network activity when basal network activity is low, whereas it depresses spontaneous activity when its initial level is high. Our results reveal a complex role of CB1Rs in shaping spontaneous network activity, and suggest that the outcome of endogenous neuromodulation on network function might be state dependent.

04/2011 | Physiology (Bethesda)
Endocannabinoids and motor behavior: CB1 receptors also control running activity.
Chaouloff F, Dubreucq S, Bellocchio L, Marsicano G

02/03/2011 | J Neurosci   IF 7.1
Pharmacological activation of kainate receptors drives endocannabinoid mobilization.
Lourenco J, Matias I, Marsicano G, Mulle C

Activation of both presynaptic metabotropic cannabinoid type 1 receptors (CB(1)s) and ionotropic kainate receptors (KARs) can efficiently modulate GABA release at many synapses of the CNS. The inhibitory effect of kainic acid (KA) has been ascribed to metabotropic actions, and KAR-induced release of secondary neuromodulatory agents may partly mediate these actions. Here, we investigated the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the modulation of GABAergic synaptic transmission by pharmacological activation of KARs with KA in CA1 pyramidal neurons of the mouse hippocampus. We show that the depression of GABAergic synaptic transmission induced by KA (3 mum) is strongly inhibited by the simultaneous blockade of CB(1) and GABA(B) receptors with SR141716A (5 mum) and CGP55845 (5 mum), respectively. KA induces a calcium-dependent mobilization of the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA) by activation of GluK2-containing KARs in postsynaptic pyramidal neurons. Consistently, the effect of KA is prolonged by the inhibitor of AEA degradation URB597 (1 mum) in a CB(1)-dependent manner, but it is not altered by blockade of degradation or synthesis of the other main endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2AG). Hence, our work reveals that the pharmacological activation of KARs leads to the stimulation of secondary metabotropic signaling systems. In addition, these data further underline the profound mechanistic differences between exogenous and endogenous activation of KARs in the hippocampus.

02/2011 | J Neurophysiol   IF 3.3
Presynaptic CB1 receptors regulate synaptic plasticity at cerebellar parallel fiber synapses.
Carey MR, Myoga MH, McDaniels KR, Marsicano G, Lutz B, Mackie K, Regehr WG

Endocannabinoids are potent regulators of synaptic strength. They are generally thought to modify neurotransmitter release through retrograde activation of presynaptic type 1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1Rs). In the cerebellar cortex, CB1Rs regulate several forms of synaptic plasticity at synapses onto Purkinje cells, including presynaptically expressed short-term plasticity and, somewhat paradoxically, a postsynaptic form of long-term depression (LTD). Here we have generated mice in which CB1Rs were selectively eliminated from cerebellar granule cells, whose axons form parallel fibers. We find that in these mice, endocannabinoid-dependent short-term plasticity is eliminated at parallel fiber, but not inhibitory interneuron, synapses onto Purkinje cells. Further, parallel fiber LTD is not observed in these mice, indicating that presynaptic CB1Rs regulate long-term plasticity at this synapse.

01/2011 | Brain   IF 9.5
Loss of striatal type 1 cannabinoid receptors is a key pathogenic factor in Huntington's disease.
Blazquez C, Chiarlone A, Sagredo O, Aguado T, Pazos MR, Resel E, Palazuelos J, Julien B, Salazar M, Borner C, Benito C, Carrasco C, Diez-Zaera M, Paoletti P, Diaz-Hernandez M, Ruiz C, Sendtner M, Lucas JJ, de Yebenes JG, Marsicano G, Monory K, Lutz B, Romero J, Alberch J, Gines S, Kraus J, Fernandez-Ruiz J, Galve-Roperh I, Guzman M

Endocannabinoids act as neuromodulatory and neuroprotective cues by engaging type 1 cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are highly abundant in the basal ganglia and play a pivotal role in the control of motor behaviour. An early downregulation of type 1 cannabinoid receptors has been documented in the basal ganglia of patients with Huntington's disease and animal models. However, the pathophysiological impact of this loss of receptors in Huntington's disease is as yet unknown. Here, we generated a double-mutant mouse model that expresses human mutant huntingtin exon 1 in a type 1 cannabinoid receptor-null background, and found that receptor deletion aggravates the symptoms, neuropathology and molecular pathology of the disease. Moreover, pharmacological administration of the cannabinoid Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol to mice expressing human mutant huntingtin exon 1 exerted a therapeutic effect and ameliorated those parameters. Experiments conducted in striatal cells show that the mutant huntingtin-dependent downregulation of the receptors involves the control of the type 1 cannabinoid receptor gene promoter by repressor element 1 silencing transcription factor and sensitizes cells to excitotoxic damage. We also provide in vitro and in vivo evidence that supports type 1 cannabinoid receptor control of striatal brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression and the decrease in brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels concomitant with type 1 cannabinoid receptor loss, which may contribute significantly to striatal damage in Huntington's disease. Altogether, these results support the notion that downregulation of type 1 cannabinoid receptors is a key pathogenic event in Huntington's disease, and suggest that activation of these receptors in patients with Huntington's disease may attenuate disease progression.

2011 | PLoS ONE   IF 4.1
GABAergic and cortical and subcortical glutamatergic axon terminals contain CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus.
Reguero L, Puente N, Elezgarai I, Mendizabal-Zubiaga J, Canduela MJ, Buceta I, Ramos A, Suarez J, Rodriguez de Fonseca F, Marsicano G, Grandes P

BACKGROUND: Type-1 cannabinoid receptors (CB(1)R) are enriched in the hypothalamus, particularly in the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMH) that participates in homeostatic and behavioral functions including food intake. Although CB(1)R activation modulates excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission in the brain, CB(1)R contribution to the molecular architecture of the excitatory and inhibitory synaptic terminals in the VMH is not known. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the precise subcellular distribution of CB(1)R in the VMH to better understand the modulation exerted by the endocannabinoid system on the complex brain circuitries converging into this nucleus. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Light and electron microscopy techniques were used to analyze CB(1)R distribution in the VMH of CB(1)R-WT, CB(1)R-KO and conditional mutant mice bearing a selective deletion of CB(1)R in cortical glutamatergic (Glu-CB(1)R-KO) or GABAergic neurons (GABA-CB(1)R-KO). At light microscopy, CB(1)R immunolabeling was observed in the VMH of CB(1)R-WT and Glu-CB(1)R-KO animals, being remarkably reduced in GABA-CB(1)R-KO mice. In the electron microscope, CB(1)R appeared in membranes of both glutamatergic and GABAergic terminals/preterminals. There was no significant difference in the percentage of CB(1)R immunopositive profiles and CB(1)R density in terminals making asymmetric or symmetric synapses in CB(1)R-WT mice. Furthermore, the proportion of CB(1)R immunopositive terminals/preterminals in CB(1)R-WT and Glu-CB(1)R-KO mice was reduced in GABA-CB(1)R-KO mutants. CB(1)R density was similar in all animal conditions. Finally, the percentage of CB(1)R labeled boutons making asymmetric synapses slightly decreased in Glu-CB(1)R-KO mutants relative to CB(1)R-WT mice, indicating that CB(1)R was distributed in cortical and subcortical excitatory synaptic terminals. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our anatomical results support the idea that the VMH is a relevant hub candidate in the endocannabinoid-mediated modulation of the excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission of cortical and subcortical pathways regulating essential hypothalamic functions for the individual's survival such as the feeding behavior.

Chronic voluntary wheel-running activity has been reported to hypersensitise central CB1 receptors in mice. On the other hand, pharmacological findings suggest that the CB1 receptor could be involved in wheel-running behaviour and in running-induced neurogenesis in the hippocampus. We analysed wheel-running behaviour for 6 weeks and measured its consequences on hippocampal neurogenesis in CB1 knockout (CB1(-/-)) animals, compared to wild-type (CB1(+/+)) littermates. Because wheel running has been shown to affect locomotor reactivity in novel environments, memory for aversive events and depression-like behaviours, we also assessed these behaviours in control and running CB1(+/+) and CB1(-/-) mice. When compared with running CB1(+/+) mice, the distance covered weekly by CB1(-/-) mice was decreased by 30-40%, an observation accounted for by decreased time spent and maximal velocity on the wheels. Analyses of running distances with respect to the light/dark cycle revealed that mutant covered less distance throughout both the inactive and the active phases of that cycle. Locomotion in an activity cage, exploration in an open field, and immobility time in the forced swim test proved insensitive to chronic wheel running in either genotype. Wheel running, per se, did not influence the expression and extinction of cued fear memory but counteracted in a time-dependent manner the deficiency of extinction measured in CB1(-/-) mice. Hippocampal neurogenesis, assessed by doublecortin labelling of immature neurons in the dentate gyrus, was lowered by 40% in control CB1(-/-) mice, compared to control CB1(+/+) mice. Although CB1(-/-) mice ran less than their wild-type littermates, the 6-week running protocol increased neurogenesis to similar extents (37-39%) in both genotypes. This study suggests that mouse CB1 receptors control wheel running but not its neurogenic consequences in the hippocampus.

07/04/2010 | Cell Metab   IF 17.2
CB(1) signaling in forebrain and sympathetic neurons is a key determinant of endocannabinoid actions on energy balance
Quarta C, Bellocchio L, Mancini G, Mazza R, Cervino C, Braulke LJ, Fekete C, Latorre R, Nanni C, Bucci M, Clemens LE, Heldmaier G, Watanabe M, Leste-Lasserre T, Maitre M, Tedesco L, Fanelli F, Reuss S, Klaus S, Srivastava RK, Monory K, Valerio A, Grandis A, De Giorgio R, Pasquali R, Nisoli E, Cota D, Lutz B, Marsicano G, Pagotto U

15/03/2010 | Hippocampus   IF 5.8
Emotional consequences of wheel running in mice: Which is the appropriate control?
Dubreucq S, Marsicano G, Chaouloff F