We used RT-PCR to measure relative differences in cannabinoid receptor (CB) mRNAs in the rat eye, comparing CB1 or CB2 transcripts to that of the normalizing reference gene beta2 microglobulin (beta2m). Significantly higher levels of CB1 mRNA levels were found in the ciliary body (0.84+/-0.05% of beta2m) than in the iris, (0.34+/-0.04% of beta2m), retina (0.07+/-0.005% of beta2m) and choroid (0.06+/-0.005% of beta2m). CB2 mRNA was undetectable. This expression pattern supports a specific role for the CB1 receptor in controlling intraocular pressure, helping to explain the antiglaucoma property of cannabinoids.
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