Hippocampal Cb 2 receptors: an untold story

Robin Visvanathar, Maria Papanikolaou, Diana A Nôga, Marina Pádua-Reis, Adriano B Lopes Tort, Martina Blunder

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

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The field of cannabinoid research has been receiving ever-growing interest. Ongoing debates worldwide about the legislation of medical cannabis further motivates research into cannabinoid function within the central nervous system (CNS). To date, two well-characterized cannabinoid receptors exist. While most research has investigated Cb1 receptors (Cb1Rs), Cb2 receptors (Cb2Rs) in the brain have started to attract considerable interest in recent years. With indisputable evidence showing the wide-distribution of Cb2Rs in the brain of different species, they are no longer considered just peripheral receptors. However, in contrast to Cb1Rs, the functionality of central Cb2Rs remains largely unexplored. Here we review recent studies on hippocampal Cb2Rs. While conflicting results about their function have been reported, we have made significant progress in understanding the involvement of Cb2Rs in modulating cellular properties and network excitability. Moreover, Cb2Rs have been shown to be expressed in different subregions of the hippocampus, challenging our prior understanding of the endocannabinoid system. Although more insight into their functional roles is necessary, we propose that targeting hippocampal Cb2Rs may offer novel therapies for diseases related to memory and adult neurogenesis deficits.
Original languageEnglish
JournalReviews in the Neurosciences
Early online date29 Oct 2021
Publication statusEarly online - 29 Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


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