The Cerebellum

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 66–74

Down-regulation of the AMPA glutamate receptor subunits GluR1 and GluR2/3 in the rat cerebellum following pre- and perinatal Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol exposure

  • Isabel Suárez
  • Guillermo Bodega
  • Javier Fernández-Ruiz
  • José Antonio Ramos
  • Miguel Rubio
  • Benjamín Fernández
Scientific Papers

DOI: 10.1080/14734220310017230

Cite this article as:
Suárez, I., Bodega, G., Fernández-Ruiz, J. et al. The Cerebellum (2004) 3: 66. doi:10.1080/14734220310017230

Abstract

This paper reports the effects of pre- and perinatal exposure to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on expression levels of specific AMPA glutamate receptor subunits (GluRl and GluR2/3) in the cerebellum of male and female rats. Pregnant rats were administered saline or THC from gestational day 5 (ED5) to postnatal day 20 (PD20). Expression of the GluRl and GluR2/3 subunits of AMPA glutamate receptors was analyzed by immunohistochemistry in THC-exposed rats at three postnatal ages: PD20 (still exposed to THC) to study the direct effect of drug exposure, and PD30 and PD70 (10 and 50 days following THC withdrawal) to analyze the long-term effects of prenatal exposure. Compared to controls, pre- and perinatal THC exposure decreased the immunoreactivity levels of the GluRl subunit in Bergmann glial cells, as well as levels of the GluR2/3 subunit in Purkinje neurons at PD20. These changes in AMPA receptor subunit levels may correlate with the decreased excitatory neurotransmission described in the cerebellum after cannabinoid treatment, which could play a significant role in the biochemical effects of THC. In addition, the reduced glutamate receptor expression observed at PD20 did not return to normal even after THC withdrawal (PD30 and PD70). The results support the idea that THC exposure during critical stages of cerebellar development may alter the glutamatergic system, not only during the drug exposure period itself but also in adults following THC withdrawal. The decreased expressions of glutamate receptors induced by developmental THC exposure could lead to functional alterations through the inhibition of glutamatergic neurotransmission, and clearly demonstrate an interaction between cannabinoids and the glutamatergic system.

Keywords

Bergmann glial cells astrocytes Purkinje neurons cerebellar development AMPA Glutamate receptors Δ9 Tetrahydrocannabinol 

Copyright information

© Taylor & Francis 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isabel Suárez
    • 1
  • Guillermo Bodega
    • 1
  • Javier Fernández-Ruiz
    • 2
  • José Antonio Ramos
    • 2
  • Miguel Rubio
    • 1
  • Benjamín Fernández
    • 3
  1. 1.Dpto. Biologia Celular y Genética, Facultad de BiologiaUniversidad de Alcalá, Alcalá de HenaresMadridSpain
  2. 2.Departamento Bioquimica y Biologia MolecularUniversidad ComplutenseMadridSpain
  3. 3.Departamento Biologia CelularUniversidad ComplutenseMadridSpain

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