Type-1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1R) are important regulators of the neurodegenerative damage in multiple sclerosis (MS) and in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). In GABAergic striatal neurons, CB1R stimulation exerts protective effects by limiting inflammation-induced potentiation of glutamate-mediated spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs). Here we show that CB1R located on GABAergic or on glutamatergic neurons are differentially involved in the pre- and postsynaptic alterations of sEPSCs caused by EAE in the striatum. After induction of EAE, mice selectively lacking CB1R on GABAergic neurons (GABA-CB1R-KO) showed exacerbated alterations of sEPSC duration in GABAergic medium spiny neurons (MSN). On the other hand, EAE-induced alterations of corticostriatal sEPSC frequency were exacerbated only in mice lacking CB1R on glutamatergic neurons (Glu-CB112-K0), indicating that this subset of receptors controls the effects of inflammation on glutamate release. While EAE severity was enhanced in whole CB1R-KO mice, GABA-CB1R-KO and Glu-CB1R-KO mice had similar motor deficits as the respective wild-type (WT) counterparts. Our results provide further evidence that CB1R are involved in EAE pathophysiology, and suggest that both pre- and postsynaptic alterations of glutamate transmission are important to drive excitotoxic neurodegeneration typical of this disorder. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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