• ERK;
  • patch-clamp;
  • plasticity;
  • THC


At proximal synapses from layer V pyramidal neurons from the rat prefrontal cortex, activation of group II metabotropic glutamate receptors (group II mGlu) by (2S,2′R,3′R)-2-(2′,3′-dicarboxycyclopropyl) glycine (DCG IV) induced a long-lasting depression of excitatory postsynaptic currents. Paired-pulse experiments suggested that the depression was expressed presynaptically. Activation of type 1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1) by WIN 55,212-2 occluded the DCG IV-induced depression in a mutually occlusive manner. At the postsynaptic level, WIN 55,212-2 and DCG IV were also occlusive for the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase. The postsynaptic localization of active extracellular signal-regulated kinase was confirmed by immunocytochemistry after activation of CB1 receptors. However, phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase in layer V pyramidal neurons was dependent on the activation of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors, consequently to a release of glutamate in the local network. Group II mGlu were also shown to be involved in long-term changes in synaptic plasticity induced by high frequency stimulations. The group II mGlu antagonist (RS)-alpha-methylserine-O-phosphate monophenyl ester (MSOPPE) favoured long-term depression. However, no interaction was found between MSOPPE, WIN 55,212-2 and the CB1 receptor antagonist SR 141716A on the modulation of long-term depression or long-term potentiation and the effects of these drugs were rather additive. We suggest that CB1 receptor and group II mGlu signalling may interact through a presynaptic mechanism in the induction of a DCG IV-induced depression. Postsynaptically, an indirect interaction occurs for activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase. However, none of these interactions seem to play a role in synaptic plasticities induced with high frequency stimulations.