Document Detail

Molecular architecture of the cannabinoid signaling system in the core of the nucleus accumbens.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17451066     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Several abused drugs are known to alter glutamatergic signaling in reward pathways of the brain, and these plastic changes may contribute to the establishment of addiction-related behaviour. Glutamatergic synapses of the prefrontal cortical projections to the nucleus accumbens (nAcb)--which are suggested to be under endocannabinoid (eCB) control - play a central role in the addiction process. The most abundant eCB in the brain is 2-arachi-donoyl-glycerol (2-AG). It is synthesized by diacylglycerol lipase alpha (DGL-alpha), and exerts its action via type 1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1). However, the precise localization of DGL-alpha and CB1 - i.e. the sites of synthesis and action of 2AG - is still unknown. At the light microscopic level, immunocytochemistry revealed a granular pattern of DGL-alpha distribution in the core of the nAcb. Electron microscopic analysis confirmed that these granules corresponded to the heads of dendritic spines. On the other hand, presynaptic axon terminals forming excitatory synapses on these spineheads were found to express CB1 receptors. Our results demonstrate that the molecular constituents for a retrograde endocannabinoid control of glutamatergic transmission are available in the core of the nAcb, and their relative subcellular location is consistent with a role of 2-AG in addiction-related plasticity of cortical excitatory synapses in this reward area.
Ferenc Mátyás; Masahiko Watanabe; Ken Mackie; István Katona; Tamás F Freund
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Ideggyógyászati szemle     Volume:  60     ISSN:  0019-1442     ISO Abbreviation:  Ideggyogy Sz     Publication Date:  2007 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-04-24     Completed Date:  2007-06-29     Revised Date:  2007-12-03    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  17510500R     Medline TA:  Ideggyogy Sz     Country:  Hungary    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  187-91     Citation Subset:  IM    
Institute of Experimental Medicine, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest.
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MeSH Terms
Cannabinoids / metabolism*
Lipoprotein Lipase / metabolism
Mice, Inbred C57BL
Nucleus Accumbens / metabolism*
Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1 / metabolism*
Signal Transduction
Substance-Related Disorders / metabolism*
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Cannabinoids; 0/Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1; EC Lipase

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