The endocannabinoid system in rat gliosomes and its role in the modulation of glutamate release

Monica Bari, Tiziana Bonifacino, Marco Milanese, Paola Spagnuolo, Simona Zappettini, Natalia Battista, Francesco Giribaldi, Cesare Usai, Giambattista Bonanno, Mauro MacCarrone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The endocannabinoid system and endocannabinoid receptor-driven modulation of glutamate release were studied in rat brain cortex astroglial gliosomes. These preparations contained the endocannabinoids N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, as well their major biosynthetic (N-acyl-phosphatidylethanolamines-hydrolyzing-phospholipase D and diacylglycerol-lipase) and catabolic (fatty acid amide-hydrolase and monoacylglycerol-lipase) enzymes. Gliosomes expressed type-1 (CB1R), type-2 (CB2R) cannabinoid, and type-1 vanilloid (TRPV1) receptors, as ascertained by Western blotting and confocal microscopy. Methanandamide, a stable analogue of anandamide acting as CB1R, CB2R, and TRPV1 agonist, stimulated or inhibited the depolarization-evoked gliosomal [3H]d-aspartate release, at lower and higher concentrations, respectively. Experiments with ACEA (arachidonyl- 2′-chloroethylamide), JWH133 ((6aR,10aR)-3-(1,1-dimethylbutyl)-6a,7,10, 10a-tetrahydro-6,6,9-trimethyl-6H-dibenzo[b,d]-pyran) and capsaicin, selective agonists at CB1R, CB2R and TRPV1, respectively, demonstrated that potentiation of [3H]d-aspartate release was due to CB1R while inhibition to CB2R and TRPV1 engagement. These findings were confirmed by using selective receptor antagonists. Furthermore, CB1R activation caused increase of intracellular IP3 and Ca2+ concentration, suggesting an involvement of phospholipase C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)833-845
Number of pages13
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • Cannabinoid receptors
  • Endocannabinoids
  • Gliosomes
  • Glutamate release
  • Neuron-glia communication
  • Vanilloid receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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