Chronic use of marijuana decreases cannabinoid receptor binding and mRNA expression in the human brain

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Villares, J.
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Chronic exposure to Cannabis sativa (marijuana) produced a significant down-regulation of cannabinoid receptor in the postmortem human brain. the significant decrease in maximal binding capacity was not accompanied by changes in the affinity constant. [H-3]SR141716A binding was reduced in the caudate nucleus, putamen and in the accumbens nucleus. A significant decrease of binding sites was seen in the globus pallidus. Also in the ventral tegmental area and substantia nigra pars reticulata quantitative analysis of the density of receptors shows a significant reduction in [H-3]SR141716A binding. in Cannabis sativa user brains, compared with normal brains [H-3]SR141716A binding was reduced only in the hippocampus. the density of cannabinoid receptor 1 mRNA-positive neurons was significantly lower in Cannabis sativa users than in control brains for the caudate nucleus, putamen, accumbens nucleus and hippocampal region (CA1-CA4, areas of Ammon's horn). No hybridization was seen in the mesencephalon and globus pallidus. (c) 2006 IBRO. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Neuroscience. Oxford: Pergamon-Elsevier B.V., v. 145, n. 1, p. 323-334, 2007.