"Adenosine A2A-Cannabinoid CB1 Receptor Heteromers in the Hippocampus: Cannabidiol Blunts Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol-Induced Cognitive Impairment."
At present, clinical interest in the plant-derived cannabinoid compound cannabidiol (CBD) is rising exponentially, since it displays multiple therapeutic properties. In addition, CBD can counteract the undesirable effects of the psychoactive cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) that hinder clinical development of cannabis-based therapies. Despite this attention, the mechanisms of CBD action and its interaction with Δ9-THC are still not completely elucidated. Here, by combining in vivo and complementary molecular techniques, we demonstrate for the first time that CBD blunts the Δ9-THC-induced cognitive impairment in an adenosine A2A receptor (A2AR)-dependent manner. Furthermore, we reveal the existence of A2AR and cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1R) heteromers at the presynaptic level in CA1 neurons in the hippocampus. Interestingly, our findings support a brain region-dependent A2AR-CB1R functional interplay; indeed, CBD was not capable of modifying motor functions presumably regulated by striatal A2AR/CB1R complexes, nor anxiety responses related to other brain regions. Overall, these data provide new evidence regarding the mechanisms of action of CBD and the nature of A2AR-CB1R interactions in the brain.