Differential endocannabinoid regulation of extinction in appetitive and aversive Barnes maze tasks.Learn Mem. 2008 Nov; 15(11):806-9.LM
CB 1 receptor-compromised animals show profound deficits in extinguishing learned behavior from aversive conditioning tasks, but display normal extinction learning in appetitive operant tasks. However, it is difficult to discern whether the differential involvement of the endogenous cannabinoid system on extinction results from the hedonics or the required responses associated with the disparate tasks. Here, we report that the CB 1 receptor antagonist rimonabant disrupts extinction learning in an aversive, but not in an appetitive, Barnes maze conditioning task. Accordingly, these results provide compelling support for the hypothesis that the endogenous cannabinoid system plays a necessary role in the extinction of aversively motivated behaviors but is expendable for appetitively motivated behaviors.