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Canna~Fangled Abstracts

Changes in Cb1 and Cb2 Receptors in the Postmortem Cerebellum of Humans Affected by Spinocerebellar Ataxias.

By July 3, 2013No Comments
 pm2[Epub ahead of print]

Changes in Cb1 and Cb2 Receptors in the Postmortem Cerebellum of Humans Affected by Spinocerebellar Ataxias.


Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Instituto Universitario de Investigación en Neuroquímica; Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red sobre Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas (CIBERNED); Instituto Ramón y Cajal de Investigación Sanitaria (IRYCIS), Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Complutense, 28040, Madrid.



Spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs) are a family of chronic progressive neurodegenerative diseases, clinically and genetically heterogeneous, characterized by loss of balance and motor coordination due to degeneration of the cerebellum and its afferent and efferent connections. Contrary to other motor disorders, SCAs have not been investigated in relation to the endocannabinoid system.


The objective was to investigate the status of CB1 and CB2 receptors, using immunohistochemical procedures, in the post-mortem cerebellum of SCA patients and controls.


Immunoreactivity for the CB1 receptor, and also for the CB2 receptor, was found in the granular layer, Purkinje cells, neurons of the dentate nucleus and areas of white matter in the cerebellum of patients at levels notably higher than controls. Double-labelling procedures demonstrated co-localization of CB1 and, in particular, CB2 receptors with calbindin, supporting the presence of these receptors in Purkinje neurons. In addition, both receptors also co-localized with Iba-1 and GFAP in the granular layer and white matter areas, supporting their additional presence in glial elements, microglia and astrocytes, respectively.


Our study demonstrates that CB1 and CB2 receptor levels are significantly altered in the cerebellum of SCA patients. Their identification in Purkinje neurons, which are the main cells affected in SCAs, as well as the changes they experienced, suggest that alterations in endocannabinoid receptors system may be related to the pathogenesis of SCAs, thus supporting that the endocannabinoid system could provide potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of the disease progression in SCAs.
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