Giovanni Marsicano

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Acquisition and storage of aversive memories is one of the basic principles of central nervous systems throughout the animal kingdom. In the absence of reinforcement, the resulting behavioural response will gradually diminish to be finally extinct. Despite the importance of extinction, its cellular mechanisms are largely unknown. The cannabinoid receptor 1(More)
Abnormally high spiking activity can damage neurons. Signaling systems to protect neurons from the consequences of abnormal discharge activity have been postulated. We generated conditional mutant mice that lack expression of the cannabinoid receptor type 1 in principal forebrain neurons but not in adjacent inhibitory interneurons. In mutant mice,the(More)
Cannabinoids can modulate motor behaviour, learning and memory, cognition and pain perception. These effects correlate with the expression of the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and with the presence of endogenous cannabinoids in the brain. In trying to obtain further insights into the mechanisms underlying the modulatory effects of cannabinoids, CB1-positive(More)
The cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and its endogenous ligands, the endocannabinoids, are involved in the regulation of food intake. Here we show that the lack of CB1 in mice with a disrupted CB1 gene causes hypophagia and leanness. As compared with WT (CB1+/+) littermates, mice lacking CB1 (CB1-/-) exhibited reduced spontaneous caloric intake and, as a(More)
Balanced control of neuronal activity is central in maintaining function and viability of neuronal circuits. The endocannabinoid system tightly controls neuronal excitability. Here, we show that endocannabinoids directly target hippocampal glutamatergic neurons to provide protection against acute epileptiform seizures in mice. Functional CB1 cannabinoid(More)
The cannabinoid system is immunomodulatory and has been targeted as a treatment for the central nervous system (CNS) autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis. Using an animal model of multiple sclerosis, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), we investigated the role of the CB(1) and CB(2) cannabinoid receptors in regulating CNS autoimmunity. We(More)
Although endocannabinoids constitute one of the first lines of defense against pain, the anatomical locus and the precise receptor mechanisms underlying cannabinergic modulation of pain are uncertain. Clinical exploitation of the system is severely hindered by the cognitive deficits, memory impairment, motor disturbances and psychotropic effects resulting(More)
The roles of endocannabinoid signaling during central nervous system development are unknown. We report that CB(1) cannabinoid receptors (CB(1)Rs) are enriched in the axonal growth cones of gamma-aminobutyric acid-containing (GABAergic) interneurons in the rodent cortex during late gestation. Endocannabinoids trigger CB(1)R internalization and elimination(More)
Endocannabinoids form a novel class of retrograde messengers that modulate short- and long-term synaptic plasticity. Depolarization-induced suppression of excitation (DSE) and inhibition (DSI) are the best characterized transient forms of endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic modulation. Stimulation protocols consisting of long-lasting voltage steps to the(More)
The discovery of multipotent neural progenitor (NP) cells has provided strong support for the existence of neurogenesis in the adult brain. However, the signals controlling NP proliferation remain elusive. Endocannabinoids, the endogenous counterparts of marijuana-derived cannabinoids, act as neuromodulators via presynaptic CB1 receptors and also control(More)