Persistently active cannabinoid receptors mute a subpopulation of hippocampal interneurons

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Feb 3;101(5):1362-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0304752101. Epub 2004 Jan 20.


Cortical information processing requires an orchestrated interaction between a large number of pyramidal cells and albeit fewer, but highly diverse GABAergic interneurons (INs). The diversity of INs is thought to reflect functional and structural specializations evolved to control distinct network operations. Consequently, specific cortical functions may be selectively modified by altering the input-output relationship of unique IN populations. Here, we report that persistently active cannabinoid receptors, the site of action of endocannabinoids, and the psychostimulants marijuana and hashish, switch off the output (mute) of a unique class of hippocampal INs. In paired recordings between cholecystokinin-immunopositive, mossy fiber-associated INs, and their target CA3 pyramidal cells, no postsynaptic currents could be evoked with single presynaptic action potentials or with repetitive stimulations at frequencies <25 Hz. Cannabinoid receptor antagonists converted these "mute" synapses into high-fidelity ones. The selective muting of specific GABAergic INs, achieved by persistent presynaptic cannabinoid receptor activation, provides a state-dependent switch in cortical networks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Animals
  • Benzoxazines
  • Cholecystokinin / analysis
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Interneurons / physiology*
  • Male
  • Morpholines / pharmacology
  • Naphthalenes / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1 / physiology*
  • Receptors, GABA-A / physiology


  • Benzoxazines
  • Morpholines
  • Naphthalenes
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1
  • Receptors, GABA-A
  • (3R)-((2,3-dihydro-5-methyl-3-((4-morpholinyl)methyl)pyrrolo-(1,2,3-de)-1,4-benzoxazin-6-yl)(1-naphthalenyl))methanone
  • Cholecystokinin