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CB1 receptor-mediated control of the release of endocannabinoids (as assessed by microdialysis coupled with LC/MS) in the rat hypothalamus


Dr F. Béquet, as above.


In the present study, we examined the occurrence and potential regulation of endocannabinoid release by cannabinoid CB1 receptors in the rat brain. To this end, we developed a highly sensitive (limit of sensitivity 30–300 amol) new analytical method, combining online brain microdialysis with solid-phase extraction–liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry, which allowed the detection in real time of trace amounts of endocannabinoids in the extracellular fluid. In the hypothalamus, anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol release was stimulated following depolarization via local administration of K+, with or without addition of Ca2+, or glutamate application. Inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase by systemic administration of intraperitoneal (i.p.) URB597 (0.5 mg/kg) induced an increase of anandamide, but not 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol, outflow. The CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant (10 mg/kg i.p.) increased, whereas the CB1 agonist WIN55,212-2 (2.5 mg/kg i.p.) decreased, anandamide release. Interestingly, the same treatments induced opposite changes in 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol release. At a dose of 3 mg/kg i.p., which by itself did not affect endocannabinoid release, rimonabant fully antagonized the effect of WIN55,212-2 (2.5 mg/kg i.p.). Taken together, these results suggest that CB1 receptors are able to control the local release of endocannabinoids in the hypothalamus via a feedback mechanism and strengthen the view that anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol have distinct physiological roles.