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, 12 (3), 324-30

Retrograde Signaling by Endocannabinoids


Retrograde Signaling by Endocannabinoids

Anatol C Kreitzer et al. Curr Opin Neurobiol.


Recent studies suggest that endocannabinoids act as retrograde messengers at many synapses in the central nervous system. Activation of phospholipases, either through calcium-mediated or receptor-mediated signaling, leads to the formation and release of endocannabinoids. These lipophilic signaling molecules diffuse to nearby presynaptic terminals where they bind to specific G-protein-coupled receptors and inhibit neurotransmitter release for tens of seconds. Thus, an important physiological role of endocannabinoids may be to provide a mechanism by which neurons can rapidly regulate the strength of their synaptic inputs.

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