Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were made from substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNR) neurones in rat midbrain slices to investigate the electrophysiological effects of cannabinoids. The cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN 55212-2 =(10 μM) significantly reduced intranigrally evoked and spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) which were mediated by GABA(A) receptors. The postsynaptic current induced by bath application of GABA was not affected by the presence of WIN 55212-2. The actions of WIN 55212-2 were not mimicked by the inactive enantiomer WIN 55212-3. WIN 55212- 2 also hyperpolarized the membrane of SNR neurones in a tetrodotoxin/0- Ca2+-insensitive manner. These data suggest that cannabinoids modulate the activity of SNR neurones by presynaptic inhibition of GABA inputs. They may also exert a direct post-synaptic inhibition on these neurones.
- Substantia nigra
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