Cannabinoids excite dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmentum and substantia nigra

Edward D French, Kathryn Dillon, Xiaofang Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

259 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Extracellular recordings were used to determine the effects of cannabinoids on the activity of dopamine neurons within the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNC). Systemic administration of the natural psychoactive cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and the synthetic cannabimimetic aminoalkylindole WIN 55,212-2 produced dose-dependent increases in firing rate and burst firing in both neuronal populations. These effects appear to be specific as the non-psychoactive cannabidiol and the inactive enantiomer WIN 55,212-3 failed to alter either parameter of neuronal excitability. Furthermore, dopamine neurons in the VTA were more sensitive than those in the SNC to the stimulatory actions of Δ9-THC. These results may provide a mechanism by which psychoactive cannabinoids increase extracellular dopamine levels in mesolimbic and striatal tissues, and thereby contribute to the reinforcing effects of marijuana.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)649-652
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroReport
Volume8
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997

Fingerprint

Cannabinoids
Dopaminergic Neurons
Substantia Nigra
Ventral Tegmental Area
Dronabinol
Cannabidiol
Corpus Striatum
Cannabis
Dopamine
Population
Pars Compacta
Win 55212-2

Keywords

  • cannabinoids
  • electrophysiology
  • marijuana
  • substantia nigra
  • ventral tegmental area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Cannabinoids excite dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmentum and substantia nigra. / French, Edward D; Dillon, Kathryn; Wu, Xiaofang.

In: NeuroReport, Vol. 8, No. 3, 1997, p. 649-652.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

French, Edward D ; Dillon, Kathryn ; Wu, Xiaofang. / Cannabinoids excite dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmentum and substantia nigra. In: NeuroReport. 1997 ; Vol. 8, No. 3. pp. 649-652.
@article{343f68d6b15a4d1a823c82faf8e8a8c5,
title = "Cannabinoids excite dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmentum and substantia nigra",
abstract = "Extracellular recordings were used to determine the effects of cannabinoids on the activity of dopamine neurons within the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNC). Systemic administration of the natural psychoactive cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and the synthetic cannabimimetic aminoalkylindole WIN 55,212-2 produced dose-dependent increases in firing rate and burst firing in both neuronal populations. These effects appear to be specific as the non-psychoactive cannabidiol and the inactive enantiomer WIN 55,212-3 failed to alter either parameter of neuronal excitability. Furthermore, dopamine neurons in the VTA were more sensitive than those in the SNC to the stimulatory actions of Δ9-THC. These results may provide a mechanism by which psychoactive cannabinoids increase extracellular dopamine levels in mesolimbic and striatal tissues, and thereby contribute to the reinforcing effects of marijuana.",
keywords = "cannabinoids, electrophysiology, marijuana, substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area",
author = "French, {Edward D} and Kathryn Dillon and Xiaofang Wu",
year = "1997",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "8",
pages = "649--652",
journal = "NeuroReport",
issn = "0959-4965",
publisher = "Lippincott Williams and Wilkins",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Cannabinoids excite dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmentum and substantia nigra

AU - French, Edward D

AU - Dillon, Kathryn

AU - Wu, Xiaofang

PY - 1997

Y1 - 1997

N2 - Extracellular recordings were used to determine the effects of cannabinoids on the activity of dopamine neurons within the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNC). Systemic administration of the natural psychoactive cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and the synthetic cannabimimetic aminoalkylindole WIN 55,212-2 produced dose-dependent increases in firing rate and burst firing in both neuronal populations. These effects appear to be specific as the non-psychoactive cannabidiol and the inactive enantiomer WIN 55,212-3 failed to alter either parameter of neuronal excitability. Furthermore, dopamine neurons in the VTA were more sensitive than those in the SNC to the stimulatory actions of Δ9-THC. These results may provide a mechanism by which psychoactive cannabinoids increase extracellular dopamine levels in mesolimbic and striatal tissues, and thereby contribute to the reinforcing effects of marijuana.

AB - Extracellular recordings were used to determine the effects of cannabinoids on the activity of dopamine neurons within the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNC). Systemic administration of the natural psychoactive cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and the synthetic cannabimimetic aminoalkylindole WIN 55,212-2 produced dose-dependent increases in firing rate and burst firing in both neuronal populations. These effects appear to be specific as the non-psychoactive cannabidiol and the inactive enantiomer WIN 55,212-3 failed to alter either parameter of neuronal excitability. Furthermore, dopamine neurons in the VTA were more sensitive than those in the SNC to the stimulatory actions of Δ9-THC. These results may provide a mechanism by which psychoactive cannabinoids increase extracellular dopamine levels in mesolimbic and striatal tissues, and thereby contribute to the reinforcing effects of marijuana.

KW - cannabinoids

KW - electrophysiology

KW - marijuana

KW - substantia nigra

KW - ventral tegmental area

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0030887785&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0030887785&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

C2 - 9106740

AN - SCOPUS:0030887785

VL - 8

SP - 649

EP - 652

JO - NeuroReport

JF - NeuroReport

SN - 0959-4965

IS - 3

ER -