Enhanced Glutamatergic Synaptic Plasticity in the Hippocampal CA1 Field of Food-Restricted Rats: Involvement of CB1 Receptors

Abstract

The endogenous endocannabinoid system has a crucial role in regulating appetite and feeding behavior in mammals, as well as working memory and reward mechanisms. In order to elucidate the possible role of cannabinoid type-1 receptors (CB1Rs) in the regulation of hippocampal plasticity in animals exposed to food restriction (FR), we limited the availability of food to a 2-h daily period for 3 weeks in Sprague–Dawley rats. FR rats showed a higher long-term potentiation at hippocampal CA1 excitatory synapses with a parallel increase in glutamate release when compared with animals fed ad libitum. FR rats showed a significant increase in the long-term spatial memory determined by Barnes maze. FR was also associated with a decreased inhibitory effect of the CB1R agonist win55,212-2 on glutamatergic field excitatory postsynaptic potentials, together with a decrease in hippocampal CB1R protein expression. In addition, hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor protein levels and mushroom dendritic spine density were significantly enhanced in FR rats. Altogether, our data suggest that alterations of hippocampal CB1R expression and function in FR rats are associated with dendritic spine remodeling and functional potentiation of CA1 excitatory synapses, and these findings are consistent with increasing evidence supporting the idea that FR may improve cognitive functions.

DOI: 10.1038/npp.2015.280

Cite this paper

@article{Talani2016EnhancedGS, title={Enhanced Glutamatergic Synaptic Plasticity in the Hippocampal CA1 Field of Food-Restricted Rats: Involvement of CB1 Receptors}, author={Giuseppe Talani and Valentina Licheri and Francesca Biggio and Valentina Locci and Maria Cristina Mostallino and Pietro Paolo Secci and Valentina Melis and Laura Dazzi and Gianfranca Carta and Sebastiano Banni and Giovanni Biggio and Enrico Sanna}, journal={Neuropsychopharmacology}, year={2016}, volume={41}, pages={1308-1318} }