Cannabinoid 1 and transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 receptors discretely modulate evoked glutamate separately from spontaneous glutamate transmission

Jessica A. Fawley, Mackenzie E. Hofmann, Michael C. Andresen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Action potentials trigger synaptic terminals to synchronously release vesicles, but some vesicles release spontaneously. G-proteincoupled receptors (GPCRs) can modulate both of these processes. At cranial primary afferent terminals, the GPCR cannabinoid 1 (CB1) is often coexpressed with transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1), a nonselective cation channel present on most afferents. Here we tested whether CB1 activation modulates synchronous, action potential-evoked (eEPSCs) and/or spontaneous (sEPSCs) EPSCs at solitary tract nucleus neurons. In rat horizontal brainstem slices, activation of solitary tract (ST) primary afferents generated ST-eEPSCs that were rapidly and reversibly inhibited from most afferents by activation of CB1 with arachidonyl-2+-chloroethylamide (ACEA) or WIN 55,212-2 [R-(+)-(2,3-dihydro-5-methyl-3-[(4-morpholinyl)methyl]pyrrolo[1,2,3-de]-1,4-benzoxazin-6-yl)(1-naphthalenyl) methanone monomethanesulfonate]. The CB1 antagonist/inverse agonist AM251 [N-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-5-(4-iodophenyl)-4-methyl-N-1-piperidinyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamide] blocked these responses. Despite profound depression of ST-eEPSCs during CB1 activation, sEPSCs in these same neurons were unaltered. Changes in temperature changed sEPSC frequency only fromTRPV1+afferents (i.e., thermal sEPSC responses only occurred in TRPV1+ afferents). CB1 activation failed to alter these thermal sEPSC responses. However, the endogenous arachidonate metabolite N-arachidonyldopamine (NADA) promiscuously activated both CB1 and TRPV1 receptors. NADA inhibited ST-eEPSCs while simultaneously increasing sEPSC frequency, and thermally triggered sEPSC increases in neurons with TRPV1+ afferents. We found no evidence for CB1/TRPV1 interactions suggesting independent regulation of two separate vesicle pools. Together, these data demonstrate that action potential-evoked synchronous glutamate release is modulated separately from TRPV1-mediated glutamate release despite coexistence in the same central terminations. This two-pool arrangement allows independent and opposite modulation of glutamate release by single lipid metabolites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8324-8332
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number24
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • B1
  • NADA
  • NTS
  • TRPV1
  • Vesicle pool

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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