Endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic plasticity in the CNS

Vivien Chevaleyre, Kanji A. Takahashi, Pablo E. Castillo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

646 Scopus citations


Changes in synaptic efficacy are thought to be crucial to experience-dependent modifications of neural function. The diversity of mechanisms underlying these changes is far greater than previously expected. In the last five years, a new class of use-dependent synaptic plasticity that requires retrograde signaling by endocannabinoids (eCB) and presynaptic CB1 receptor activation has been identified in several brain structures. eCB-mediated plasticity encompasses many forms of transient and long-lasting synaptic depression and is found at both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. In addition, eCBs can modify the inducibility of non-eCB-mediated forms of plasticity. Thus, the eCB system is emerging as a major player in synaptic plasticity. Given the wide distribution of CB1 receptors in the CNS, the list of brain structures and synapses expressing eCB-mediated plasticity is likely to expand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAnnual Review of Neuroscience
EditorsSteven Hyman, Thomas Jessell, Charles Stevens
Number of pages40
StatePublished - Oct 5 2006

Publication series

NameAnnual Review of Neuroscience
ISSN (Print)0147-006X


  • Cannabinoid
  • CB1
  • LTD
  • LTP
  • Synaptic transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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