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Effects of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol on reward and anxiety in rats exposed to chronic unpredictable stress.

Abstract

Although cannabis derivatives produce clear subjective motivational responses in humans leading to drug-seeking behaviour, the reinforcing attributes of these subjective effects are difficult to define in experimental animals. The aim of this study was to examine how exposure to chronic unpredictable stress (CUS) will affect reward function and anxiety after acute administration of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta(9)-THC) in rats. Male rats were exposed to either 10 days of CUS or no stressor. Alterations in brain reward function were assessed with the intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) paradigm, and anxiety responses were measured with the elevated plus maze. CUS did not affect baseline brain stimulation reward thresholds. Delta(9)-THC did not exhibit reinforcing actions in the ICSS paradigm neither in nonstressed nor in stressed animals. More importantly, in nonstressed animals, both the low and the high dose of Delta(9)-THC exerted anxiolytic-like effects. In stressed animals, however, only the high dose of THC induced an anxiolytic-like response, whereas the low dose induced anxiogenic effects. The present results provide clear evidence for an anxiolytic effect of Delta(9)-THC both in stressed and in nonstressed animals, and indicate that environmental conditions, such as stressful experiences, do not alter the behavioural effects of Delta( 9)-THC in the ICSS paradigm.

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  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors

    Fokos S, Panagis G

    Source

    Journal of psychopharmacology (Oxford, England) 24:5 2010 May pg 767-77

    MeSH

    Animals
    Anti-Anxiety Agents
    Anxiety
    Behavior, Animal
    Body Weight
    Dronabinol
    Electric Stimulation
    Electrodes, Implanted
    Exploratory Behavior
    Male
    Psychotropic Drugs
    Random Allocation
    Rats
    Rats, Sprague-Dawley
    Reward
    Self Stimulation
    Stress, Psychological

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    19406854