Navigation Links
Endocannabinoids ?the brain's cannabis ?demonstrate novel modes of action to stress

Three separate research team reports ?one from Louisiana, one from Japan and one from Scotland ?are presenting independent research results pointing to involvement of endocannabinoids as a novel neural messenger in various stress-related situations with possible applications in eating, disease treatment and social behavior.

Tulane, LSU team on stress-related shutdown

The team from Tulane and Louisiana State Universities, led by Shi Di, found that in both physiological and psychological stress situations, stress hormones act on the brain to stimulate the release of endogenous cannabinoids from neurons in the hypothalamus, which act as a local messenger within the hypothalamus to shut down the neuroendocrine stress response.

One explanation for this hormone feedback regulation of the stress response might be to prepare the brain to mount another response in case of the onset of another possible stressor. The endogenous cannabinoids may serve to link the stress response with other neuroendocrine functions controlled by the hypothalamus, such as feeding.

Di says that the "actions of the endocannabinoids on the synaptic circuits that control the activity of the hypothalamic neurons serve to rapidly inhibit hormone secretion from the pituitary gland, providing a rapid negative feedback mechanism for the regulation of neuroendocrine function during stress."

Japanese team finds inhibition of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission

In an in vitro study, a multi-center Japanese team led by Atsushi Soya focused on the supraoptic nucleus (SON) where vasopressin and oxytocin are synthesized. They found that a synthesized cannbinoid (CP55,940) inhibited both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission and that a balanced input can produce sustained changes in neuronal activity without damage to neuronal homeostasis.

"Our next step is to investigate cannabinoids' effects in various stress conditions," Soya said. "E ndocannabinoids may have possible involvement in stress-induced responses such as the changes of autonomic, endocrine and immune function."

Furthermore, Soya added, "cannabinoids are relevant to potential relief in such disease situations in the brain as multiple sclerosis and epilepsy, or feeding disorders. In these, their effects are similar to marijuana, except for the possible dangers of accidentally using the natural products at higher dosages."

Scottish team seeks social behavior answers

Nancy Sabatier of the University of Edinburgh, noted that "cannabis, or marijuana, is a drug that is widely abused because of the effects it can have on our mood and our social behavior. Cannabis works this way because it acts like substances that are produced inside our brains that are messengers between brain cells. Our work involves trying to understand what these substances, endocannabinoids, are for."

She said they are particularly interested in how endocannabinoids influence oxytocin cells in the brain, because because OT within the brain is involved in social behavior. "We have found that oxytocin cells produce endocannabinoids, and can release these to switch off other inputs to the oxytocin cells themselves. We are looking at what stimuli will cause oxytocin cells to release endocannabinoids to understand why this system might be important."

Sabatier noted that most related experiments are carried out in rats, "but we think that the basic ways in which these circuits work is very similar in all mammals. These brain circuits are very old in evolutionary terms, and they govern behaviors that are of fundamental importance to most species."


Source:The American Physiological Society

Related biology news :

1. NYU study reveals how brains immune system fights viral encephalitis
2. Deep sleep short-circuits brains grid of connectivity
3. Thinking the pain away? Study shows the brains painkillers may cause placebo effect
4. Animal models show that anabolic steroids flip the adolescent brains switch for aggression
5. Both alcoholism and chronic smoking can damage the brains prefrontal cortex
6. Tiny RNA molecules fine-tune the brains synapses
7. Aggression-related gene weakens brains impulse control circuits
8. Oops! Researchers publish new findings on the brains response to costly mistakes
9. Flick of whiskers helps tease out brains shadow signaling system
10. The brains executive is an event planner
11. The brains motivation station
Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/16/2015)... , Nov 16, 2015  Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... interface solutions, today announced expansion of its TDDI ... touch controller and display driver integration (TDDI) ... smartphones. These new TDDI products add to the ... resolution), TD4302 (WQHD resolution), and TD4322 (FHD resolution) ...
(Date:11/11/2015)... , Nov. 11, 2015   MedNet Solutions , ... spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to announce that it ... Clinical Trials (PCT) event, to be held November 17-19 ... able to view live demonstrations of iMedNet ... learn how iMedNet has been able to deliver ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... SAN JOSE, Calif. , Nov. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... of human interface solutions, today announced broader entry into ... of vehicle-specific solutions that match the pace of consumer ... drivers, and biometric sensors are ideal for the automotive ... the vehicle. Europe , ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 --> ... specializing in imaging technologies, announced today that it has received ... of the Horizon 2020 European Union Framework Programme for Research ... clinical trial in breast cancer. , --> ... --> --> The study aims ...
(Date:11/25/2015)...  PharmAthene, Inc. (NYSE MKT: PIP) announced  today that ... plan (Rights Plan) in an effort to preserve the ... Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). ... of its NOLs could be substantially limited if the ... 382 of the Code. In general, an ownership change ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Studies reveal the differences in ... pave the way for more effective treatment for one of ...   --> --> Gum ... in cats, yet relatively little was understood about the bacteria ... been conducted by researchers from the WALTHAM Centre for Pet ...
(Date:11/25/2015)...  Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: NBIX ) announced ... of Neurocrine Biosciences, will be presenting at the 27th ... York . .   ... minutes prior to the presentation to download or install ... be available on the website approximately one hour after ...
Breaking Biology Technology: