Regulation of Hippocampal Cannabinoid CB1 Receptor Actions by Adenosine A1 Receptors and Chronic Caffeine Administration: Implications for the Effects of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol on Spatial Memory

Article, Other literature type English OPEN
Sousa, Vasco C ; Assaife-Lopes, Natália ; Ribeiro, Joaquim A ; Pratt, Judith A ; Brett, Ros R ; Sebastião, Ana M (2010)
  • Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1038/npp.2010.179
  • Subject: adenosine | Receptor Pharmacology | Learning & Memory | Original Article | caffeine | hippocampus | cannabinoid | Neuropharmacology | GABA | THC
    mesheuropmc: nervous system | musculoskeletal, neural, and ocular physiology

The cannabinoid CB1 receptor-mediated modulation of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) release from inhibitory interneurons is important for the integrity of hippocampal-dependent spatial memory. Although adenosine A1 receptors have a central role in fine-tuning excitatory transmission in the hippocampus, A1 receptors localized in GABAergic cells do not directly influence GABA release. CB1 and A1 receptors are the main targets for the effects of two of the most heavily consumed psychoactive substances worldwide: Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, a CB1 receptor agonist) and caffeine (an adenosine receptor antagonist). We first tested the hypothesis that an A1–CB1 interaction influences GABA and glutamate release in the hippocampus. We found that A1 receptor activation attenuated the CB1-mediated inhibition of GABA and glutamate release and this interaction was manifested at the level of G-protein activation. Using in vivo and in vitro approaches, we then investigated the functional implications of the adenosine–cannabinoid interplay that may arise following chronic caffeine consumption. Chronic administration of caffeine in mice (intraperitoneally, 3 mg/kg/day, for 15 days, >12 h before trials) led to an A1-mediated enhancement of the CB1-dependent acute disruptive effects of THC on a short-term spatial memory task, despite inducing a reduction in cortical and hippocampal CB1 receptor number and an attenuation of CB1 coupling with G protein. A1 receptor levels were increased following chronic caffeine administration. This study shows that A1 receptors exert a negative modulatory effect on CB1-mediated inhibition of GABA and glutamate release, and provides the first evidence of chronic caffeine-induced alterations on the cannabinoid system in the cortex and hippocampus, with functional implications in spatial memory.
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