Navigation Links
Discovery sheds new light on marijuana's anxiety relief effects
Date:3/6/2014

An international group led by Vanderbilt University researchers has found cannabinoid receptors, through which marijuana exerts its effects, in a key emotional hub in the brain involved in regulating anxiety and the flight-or-fight response.

This is the first time cannabinoid receptors have been identified in the central nucleus of the amygdala in a mouse model, they report in the current issue of the journal Neuron.

The discovery may help explain why marijuana users say they take the drug mainly to reduce anxiety, said Sachin Patel, M.D., Ph.D., the paper's senior author and professor of Psychiatry and of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics.

Led by first author Teniel Ramikie, a graduate student in Patel's lab, the researchers also showed for the first time how nerve cells in this part of the brain make and release their own natural "endocannabinoids."

The study "could be highly important for understanding how cannabis exerts its behavioral effects," Patel said. As the legalization of marijuana spreads across the country, more people and especially young people whose brains are still developing are being exposed to the drug.

Previous studies at Vanderbilt and elsewhere, Patel said, have suggested the following:

  • The natural endocannabinoid system regulates anxiety and the response to stress by dampening excitatory signals that involve the neurotransmitter glutamate.

  • Chronic stress or acute, severe emotional trauma can cause a reduction in both the production of endocannabinoids and the responsiveness of the receptors. Without their "buffering" effect, anxiety goes up.

  • While marijuana's "exogenous" cannabinoids also can reduce anxiety, chronic use of the drug down-regulates the receptors, paradoxically increasing anxiety. This can trigger "a vicious cycle" of increasing marijuana use that in some cases leads to addiction.

In the current study, the researchers used high-affinity antibodies to "label" the cannabinoid receptors so they could be seen using various microscopy techniques, including electron microscopy, which allowed very detailed visualization at individual synapses, or gaps between nerve cells.

"We know where the receptors are, we know their function, we know how these neurons make their own cannabinoids," Patel said. "Now can we see how that system is affected by stress and chronic (marijuana) use? It might fundamentally change our understanding of cellular communication in the amygdala."


'/>"/>
Contact: Craig Boerner
craig.boerner@vanderbilt.edu
615-322-4747
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Zebrafish discovery may shed light on human kidney function
2. NUS researchers make new discovery of protein as a promising target for treatment of ATC
3. Drug discovery potential of natural microbial genomes
4. Prion discovery could help keep deadly brain diseases in check
5. Autism Learning Games: Camp Discovery App Utilizes Technology to Revolutionize Learning for Children with Autism
6. Discovery to Facilitate Eradication of Polio Worldwide
7. Cell division discovery could offer fresh insight into cancer
8. Expert Project Manager Joins TERIS, a National Leader in eDiscovery, Information Governance, Computer Forensics and Relativity
9. Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuit News: Bernstein Liebhard LLP Notes Issuance of New Order Pertaining to Discovery in Federal Boston Scientific Litigation
10. Judge Overseeing Federal Biomet Hip Lawsuits Won't Name Special Discovery Master, Bernstein Liebhard LLP Reports
11. Ovarian cancer discovery deepens knowledge of survival outcomes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/20/2017)... New York, NY (PRWEB) , ... January 20, ... ... drinks – VW+ 001 and its sugar-free alternative VW+ 002. The drinks have ... the body with optimal conditions to perform during your workout. , After a ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... “The Angel”: a heartwarming ... set out for each of his children. “The Angel” is the creation of published ... in New York City, and impassioned writer. , When asked of her new book, ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 20, 2017 , ... “I Forgive You”: a fine examination ... “I Forgive You” is the creation of published author, Stephen Miller, who, for over ten ... has gracefully given to him. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, he has been serving the ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... “Christmas in Suffolk”: a story of ... Seymour, who lives in Lafayette, Indiana where she works in a daycare and looks ... writes. , Published by Christian Faith Publishing, Sara Seymour’s new book is an adventure ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... , ... January 20, 2017 , ... “Knowledge is God’s ... guided by faith. “Knowledge is God’s Lighthouse” is the creation of published author, Gene ... novels, and poetry collections. , “I have been writing since high school and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... Report Details What can be ... going to grow at the fastest rates? This visiongain ... trends, opportunities and prospects. Our 190-page report provides ... areas in the industry and the future market prospects. ... the all the major categories of the ophthalmic devices ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , Jan. 19, 2017 Report Details ... ... Opportunities for Leading Companies – our new study reveals ... discusses issues and events affecting the Alzheimer,s disease therapeutics ... to answer these key questions: - How is the ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Incretin Mimetics/GLP-1 Agonists, SNDRIs, Lipase Inhibitors, Serotonin ... global anti-obesity drugs market is expected to grow at ... period and CAGR of 38.7% in the second half of the ... of 32.8% from 2016 to 2027. The market is estimated at ... in 2027. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: