Endocannabinoid-mediated retrograde signaling is a fundamental counterpart of anterograde synaptic transmission throughout the CNS. However, despite decades of dedicated research, our understanding of the governing principles of endocannabinoid signaling at the molecular, synaptic and circuit levels has remained rather limited. Moreover, in the age of rapidly spreading medical and recreational use of marijuana, a consequential modulator of the endocannabinoid pathway, it is pivotal to get better insights into the neurobiological mechanisms of how cannabis products exhibit their therapeutic or adverse effects.
Therefore, the major objective of the 2019 "Cannabinoid Function in the CNS" Gordon Research Conference is to showcase unpublished research data addressing the burning questions of cannabinoid research thereby stimulating the life science community to focus on solving these pending challenges: What is the molecular logic behind canonical and non-canonical cannabinoid receptor signaling distinguishing them from classical GPCR activation patterns? What are the molecular underpinnings of intracellular versus intercellular forms of endocannabinoid signaling? Why there are different types of endocannabinoids and what is the division of labor between these lipid messengers in synaptic and extrasynaptic signaling? How the different forms of endocannabinoid-mediated plasticity are integrated into specific brain circuit functions in the developing and adult brain? How emerging knowledge on aberrant forms of endocannabinoid signaling leads to the better mechanistic understanding of the pathogenesis of many neurological and psychiatric brain disorders? Finally, how medical marijuana use and how recreational cannabis abuse lead to therapeutic benefits or to neuropsychiatric diseases, respectively?
The conference will consist of nine sessions, on the topics listed below. The conference chair is currently developing their preliminary program, which will include the names of the invited speakers and discussion leaders for each of these sessions. The preliminary program will be available by October 15, 2018. Please check back for updates.
- Keynote Session: Endocannabinoid Signaling in the Context of the Synaptic Nanoarchitecture
- Cannabinoid Receptors as Atypical GPCRs: A Unique Receptor Platform for Upstream Activation and Downstream Signaling
- New Endocannabinoid Enzymes and Old Enzymes with New Functions
- Novel Types of Endocannabinoid-Mediated Synaptic Plasticity
- Non-Canonical Forms of Cannabinoid Functions in the CNS
- Metaplasticity of Endocannabinoid Signaling in Activity-Dependent Circuit Functions and Pathophysiological Processes
- Medical Marijuana and Epilepsy
- Adaptive Behaviors with Maladaptive Endocannabinoid Signaling
- Keynote Session: Cannabinoids and Endocannabinoids in Reward Signaling and Addiction