Persistently active cannabinoid receptors mute a subpopulation of hippocampal interneurons

Attila Losonczy, Ágota A. Biró, Zoltan Nusser

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119 Citations (Scopus)


Cortical information processing requires an orchestrated interaction between a large number of pyramidal cells and albeit fewer, but highly diverse GABAergic interneurons (INs). The diversity of INs is thought to reflect functional and structural specializations evolved to control distinct network operations. Consequently, specific cortical functions may be selectively modified by altering the input-output relationship of unique IN populations. Here, we report that persistently active cannabinoid receptors, the site of action of endocannabinoids, and the psychostimulants marijuana and hashish, switch off the output (mute) of a unique class of hippocampal INs. In paired recordings between cholecystokinin-immunopositive, mossy fiber-associated INs, and their target CA3 pyramidal cells, no postsynaptic currents could be evoked with single presynaptic action potentials or with repetitive stimulations at frequencies <25 Hz. Cannabinoid receptor antagonists converted these "mute" synapses into high-fidelity ones. The selective muting of specific GABAergic INs, achieved by persistent presynaptic cannabinoid receptor activation, provides a state-dependent switch in cortical networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1362-1367
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Feb 3 2004



  • Hippocampus
  • Inhibition
  • Patch-clamp

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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