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Title: The role of cannabinoid receptors in modulation of GABAergic neurotransmission in the rat medial entorhinal cortex in vitro
Author: Morgan, N. H.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3421 1197
Awarding Body: Aston University
Current Institution: Aston University
Date of Award: 2008
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Type 1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1R) have a well established role in modulating GABAergic signalling with the central nervous system, and are thought to be the only type present at GABAergic presynaptic terminals. In the medial entorhinal cortex (mEC), some cortical layers show high levels of ongoing GABAergic signalling (namely layer II) while others show relatively low levels (layer V). Using whole-cell patch clamp techniques, I have, for the first time, demonstrated the presence of functional CB1R in both deep and superficial layers of the mEC. Furthermore, using a range of highly specific ligands for both CB1R and CB2R, I present strong pharmacological evidence for CB2Rs being present in both deep and superficial layers of the mEC in the adult rat brain. In brain slices taken at earlier points in CNS development (P8-12), I have shown that while both CB1R and CB2R specific ligands do modulate GABAergic signalling at early developmental stages, antagonists/ inverse agonists and full agonists have similar effects, and serve only to reduce GABAergic signalling. These data suggest that the full cannabinoid signalling mechanisms at this early stage in synaptogenesis are not yet in place. During these whole-cell studies, I have developed and refined a novel recording technique, using an amantidine derivative (IEM1460) which allows inhibitory postsynaptic currents to be recorded under conditions in which glutamate receptors are not blocked and network activity remains high. Finally I have shown that bath applied CB1 and CB2 receptor antagonists/ inverse agonists are capable of modulating kainic acid induced persistent oscillatory activity in mEC. Inverse agonists suppressed oscillatory activity in the superficial layers of the mEC while it was enhanced in the deeper layers. It seems likely that cannabinoid receptors modulate the inhibitory neuronal activity that underlies network oscillations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Pharmacology