Cannabinoid exposure in pubertal rats increases spontaneous ethanol consumption and NMDA receptor associated protein levels.
Summary of "Cannabinoid exposure in pubertal rats increases spontaneous ethanol consumption and NMDA receptor associated protein levels."
Recent evidence suggests an involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of emotional behaviour and ethanol intake. Here we investigated age-specific acute behavioural effects of the cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN 55,212-2 (WIN) on anxiety-related behaviour and voluntary ethanol consumption in rats. Animals were treated with WIN (1.2 mg/kg)/vehicle at puberty onset on postnatal day (PD) 40, or at adulthood (PD 100). Animals were tested in the elevated plus-maze (EPM) and the light/dark emergence test (EMT) and for the initial response to alcohol in a free-choice ethanol consumption paradigm. Acute WIN treatment increased anxiety-related behaviours, and this effect was found to be partially more pronounced in pubertal than adult rats. Additionally, increased intake of higher ethanol solutions after cannabinoid treatment was only observed in pubertal rats. These drug-induced behavioural changes during puberty are paralleled by induction of the NR1 subunit of the NMDA receptor in the medial prefrontal cortex and the striatum. Moreover, pubertal but not adult WIN administration increased the levels of the scaffold protein Homer in these brain regions. Enhanced CB1 receptor levels in the reinforcement system were also observed in pubertal compared to adult rats. These data support the notion that puberty is a highly vulnerable period for the aversive effects of cannabinoid exposure. In particular, augmented ethanol intake in pubertal cannabinoid-exposed animals might be related to some extent to increased emotional behaviour and in particular to enhanced NMDA and CB1 receptor signalling.
Translational Neuroscience Facility, Department of Physiology, School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: The international journal of neuropsychopharmacology / official scientific journal of the Collegium Internationale Neuropsychoph
- PubMed Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21211107
- DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1461145710001562
Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions
Rats, Inbred Wky
A strain of Rattus norvegicus used as a normotensive control for the spontaneous hypertensive rats (SHR).
Two populations of Zucker rats have been cited in research--the "fatty" or obese and the lean. The "fatty" rat (Rattus norvegicus) appeared as a spontaneous mutant. The obese condition appears to be due to a single recessive gene.
Receptor, Cannabinoid, Cb2
A subclass of cannabinoid receptor found primarily on immune cells where it may play a role modulating release of CYTOKINES.
Receptor, Cannabinoid, Cb1
A subclass of cannabinoid receptor found primarily on central and peripheral NEURONS where it may play a role modulating NEUROTRANSMITTER release.
A parasite of carnivorous mammals that causes TRICHINELLOSIS. It is especially common in rats and in swine fed uncooked garbage. Human infection is initiated by the consumption of raw or insufficiently cooked pork or other meat containing the encysted larvae.
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