We measured (-)-5-(1,1-dimethylheptyl)-2-[5-hydroxy-2-(3-hydroxypropyl)cyclohe xyl]-phenol (CP 55,940)-, (-)11-OH-delta8-tetrahydrocannabinol-dimethylheptyl (HU-210)-, anandamide- and delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol-stimulated G protein activation in mouse brain using the [35S]GTPgammaS functional assay. The Ki values for these drugs were determined by agonist competition binding with the cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist [3H]N-(piperidin-1-yl-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4- methyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamidehydrochloride ([3H]SR141716A). This information was used to calculate the efficacy for drug stimulation of G protein activity. The rank order of efficacy was CP 55,940 > HU-210 > anandamide > delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol with the latter two drugs being partial agonists. Since efficacy values relate receptor occupancy to functional responses, we believe efficacy values are a better measure of drug-mediated functional responses compared with measurements of drug potency.
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