Archive for the ‘CB1 receptor’ Category

A canna...Image by Getty Images via Daylife Psychiatrists and families that cope with mental illness have long been aware of far reaching familial risk. Although the new genomics greatly accelerates the identification of specific risk alleles; the direct functional and mechanistic connections between these tiny bits of nucleic acid and large-scale changes in neural activity and behavior is more often a matter of hand waving than hard science. Monory et al., in their article, “Genetic Dissection of Behavioural and Autonomic Effects of d9-Tetrahydrocannabinol in Mice” (doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0050269) provide an excellent example of how to relate the effects of a given gene (the CB1 receptor) to changes in behavior (getting stoned, to put it blunt-ly) by first beginning to determine what CB1 expressing cell-types are necessary. For example, ever-mellow GABA-ergic neurons are not involved in mediating the effects of cannabinoids whilst excitatory glutamatergic neurons mediate hypolocomotor effects. Similar analyses of specific (gene x circuit) interactions will build important bridges between genetics and psychiatry. Why do the mice get to have all the fun ?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Read Full Post »