Cannabinoid 1 receptors are expressed in nociceptive primary sensory neurons

J. Ahluwalia, L. Urban, M. Capogna, S. Bevan, I. Nagy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

240 Citations (Scopus)


Expression of cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and vanilloid 1 (VR1) receptor proteins was studied in adult, cultured rat dorsal root ganglion neurons. Immunostaining of CB1 receptors alone produced labelling in 57±2% of the cultured dorsal root ganglion neurons (n=3 cultures). The area of the labelled cells was between 200 and 800μm2 with an average of 527±68μm2. VR1 immunolabelling revealed immunopositivity in 42±6% of the total population of dorsal root ganglion neurons. Cells showing VR1-like immunopositivity had an area between 200 and 600μm2. The mean area of the VR1-like immunopositive neurons was 376±61μm2. Double immunostaining with antisera raised against the CB1 and VR1 receptor proteins, showed a high degree of co-expression between CB1 and VR1 receptors. An average of 82±3% of the CB1-like immunopositive cells also showed VR1-like immunoreactivity (n=3 cultures) while 98±2% of the VR1-like immunolabelled neurons showed CB1 receptor-like immunostaining (n=3 cultures). Our data suggests that nociceptive primary sensory neurons co-express CB1 and VR1 receptors to a very high degree. We propose that this may provide an anatomical basis for a powerful combination of VR1 mediated excitation and CB1-mediated inhibition of nociceptive responses at central and peripheral terminals of nociceptive primary afferents. Copyright (C) 2000 IBRO.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-688
Number of pages4
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 11 2000


  • CB1 receptor
  • DRG cell culture
  • Nociception
  • VR1 receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Cannabinoid 1 receptors are expressed in nociceptive primary sensory neurons'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this