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Distribution of diacylglycerol lipase alpha, an endocannabinoid synthesizing enzyme, in the rat forebrain

AuthorsSuárez, José Ignacio; Ortiz, Óscar ; Puente, Nagore; Bermúdez-Silva, Francisco Javier; Blanco, E.; Fernández-Llebrez, Pedro; Grandes, Pedro; Fonseca, F. R. de; Moratalla, Rosario
Issue Date2011
CitationNeuroscience 192: 112- 131 (2011)
Abstract1,2-diacylglycerol lipase alpha (DAGLα) is responsible for the biosynthesis and release of 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol (2-AG), the most abundant endocannabinoid in the brain. Although its expression has been detected in discrete regions, we showed here an integrated description of the distribution of DAGLα mRNA and protein in the rat forebrain using in situ hybridization histochemistry and immunohistochemistry. As novelty, we described the distribution of DAGLα protein expression in the olfactory system, the rostral migratory stream, neocortex, septum, thalamus, and hypothalamus. Similar DAGLα immunostaining pattern was also found in the brain of wild-type, but not of DAGLα knockout mice. Immunohistochemical data were correlated by the identification of DAGLα mRNA expression, for instance, in the somata of specific cells in olfactory structures, rostral migratory stream and neocortex, cells in some septal-basal-amygdaloid areas and the medial habenula, and magnocellular cells of the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus. This widespread neuronal distribution of DAGLα is consistent with multiple roles for endocannabinoids in synaptic plasticity, including presynaptic inhibition of neurotransmitter release. We discuss our comparative analysis of the forebrain expression patterns of DAGLα and other components of the endocannabinoid signaling system, including the CB1 receptor, monoacylglyceride lipase (MAGL), and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), providing some insight into the potential physiological and behavioral roles of this system. © 2011 IBRO.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2011.06.062
issn: 0306-4522
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