Dat-Cnr2 cKO mice

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There is increasing global awareness and interest in the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes. The ECS consists of two major types of cannabinoid receptors (CBRs), CB1Rs and CB2Rs, their endogenous ligands, endocannabinoids (eCBs) and their synthesizing and degradation enzymes. Earlier studies suggested that CB2Rs were absent from the brain.  However, research activities from our lab and those of others challenged the dogma of peripheral CB2Rs with data indicating the presence of CB2Rs in neurons and their involvement in the central nervous system (CNS) function and dysfunction from rodent models to human subjects. We demonstrated that CB2R in dopaminergic neurons plays an important role in drug addiction and its agonist, JWH133 is able to inhibit mouse cocaine self-administration.

Using the CB2R floxed mice to breed with transgenic mice whose Cre recombinanase is under control of dopamine transporter promoter, we have created Dat-Cnr2 conditional knockout mice. The lack of CB2R in dopaminergic neurons of ventral tegmental area was demonstrated by genotyping and in situ hybridization. The Dat-Cnr2 mice provide invaluable mouse model to investigate how activation of /deactivation of CB2Rs lead to psychiatric diseases of addiction and Parkinson diseases. 

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