Effect of tetrahydrocannabinols on 3H acetylcholine biosynthesis in various rat brain slices

E. Friedman, I. Hanin, S. Gershin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of Δ8- and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol on the biosynthesis of 3H-acetylcholine (ACh) from 3H-choline in cortical, hypothalamic and striatal rat brain slices were examined. The two cannabinols were found to inhibit the synthesis of 3H-ACh in the three brain regions. Treatment with cannabidiol did not alter ACh synthesis. Δ8-tetrahydrocannabinol was approximately twice as effective as the Δ9-isomer. This effect was not associated with alterations in striatal and cortical choline acetyltransferase or with an impaired high affinity uptake system for choline in the striatum. Treatment with Δ8- and Δ9-cannabinols, likewise, did not change striatal choline and ACh levels. Antagonism of the ACh biosynthesis inhibition occurred when slices from treated animals were incubated in depolarizing concentration of K+ ion. These results suggest that the inhibition of ACh synthesis observed in tetrahydrocannabinol treated rats may be related to interference with the propagated action potential or with the depolarization process in cholinergic neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-345
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1976
Externally publishedYes


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