Perspective ARTICLE

Front. Pharmacol., 28 May 2012 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2012.00101

Association of cannabis use during adolescence, prefrontal CB1 receptor signaling, and schizophrenia

  • Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, RFUMS/The Chicago Medical School, North Chicago, IL, USA

The cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R) is the G-protein coupled receptor responsible for the majority of the endocannabinoid signaling in the human brain. It is widely distributed in the limbic system, basal ganglia, and cerebellum, which are areas responsible for cognition, memory, and motor control. Because of this widespread distribution, it is not surprising that drugs that activate CB1R have expected behavioral outcomes consistent with dysregulated signaling from these areas (e.g., memory loss, cognitive deficits, etc). In the context of this review, we present evidence for the role of CB1R signaling in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), an area involved in executive functions, with emphasis on the developmental regulation of CB1R signaling in the acquisition of mature PFC function. We further hypothesize how alterations in CB1R signaling specifically during adolescent maturation might confer liability to psychiatric disorders.

Keywords: prefrontal cortex, adolescence, cannabinoids, schizophrenia

Citation: Caballero A and Tseng KY (2012) Association of cannabis use during adolescence, prefrontal CB1 receptor signaling, and schizophrenia. Front. Pharmacol. 3:101. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2012.00101

Received: 09 April 2012; Accepted: 05 May 2012;
Published online: 28 May 2012.

Edited by:

Joseph F. Cheer, University of Maryland School of Medicine, USA

Reviewed by:

Steven R. Laviolette, University of Western Ontario, Canada
Tommy Pattij, VU University Medical Center, Netherlands

Copyright: © 2012 Caballero and Tseng. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited.

*Correspondence: Kuei Y. Tseng, Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, RFUMS/The Chicago Medical School, 3333 Green Bay Road, North Chicago, IL 60064, USA. e-mail: kuei-yuan.tseng@rosalindfranklin.edu