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Cannabinoids and emotionality: a neuroanatomical perspective.
Neuroscience 2012; 204:134-44N

Abstract

The endocannabinoid system has recently emerged as a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of stress-related emotional disorders. A growing literature base has collectively demonstrated that facilitation of endocannabinoid signaling promotes antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like responses in preclinical animal models, while disruption of this system profoundly affects emotion, cognition, and neuroendocrine functioning. Although these findings are encouraging, the role of endocannabinoid signaling within discrete corticolimbic brain structures is considerably complex. Consequently, researchers have recently shifted focus to examining the effects of local cannabinoid manipulations on emotion from a neuroanatomical standpoint. This review provides an overview of the site-specific effects of cannabinergic compounds in preclinical tests of emotionality, as well as the alterations in endocannabinoid signaling observed in animal models of depression. Broadly speaking, these studies indicate that CB(1) receptors in the medial prefrontal cortex and ventral hippocampus appear to be responsible for the antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like phenotype elicited by systemic CB(1) receptor agonists, which parallels biochemical studies showing that endocannabinoids are downregulated in these two regions following exposure to chronic stress. Conversely, CB(1) receptor activation within distinct amygdalar nuclei yields opposing effects on emotional behavior, such that local stimulation of CB(1) receptors in the basolateral amygdala and central amygdala promoting anxiogenesis and anxiolysis, respectively. Moreover, a series of elegant studies has revealed that cannabinoid transmission in the basolateral amygdala strongly modulates the acquisition and processing of associative fear memory via interactions with the medial prefrontal cortex. Given the crucial role of this corticolimbic network in regulating emotional behavior, it is palpable that alterations in endocannabinoid signaling within any of these structures could have profound implications for the pathophysiological development of affective illnesses. Accordingly, local pharmacological augmentation of endocannabinoid signaling within discrete corticolimbic subregions may serve as a promising therapeutic strategy for the treatment of these debilitating disorders.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6T 1Z4. ryanmc@psych.ubc.caNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

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

Language

eng

PubMed ID

21827834

Citation

McLaughlin, R J., and G Gobbi. "Cannabinoids and Emotionality: a Neuroanatomical Perspective." Neuroscience, vol. 204, 2012, pp. 134-44.
McLaughlin RJ, Gobbi G. Cannabinoids and emotionality: a neuroanatomical perspective. Neuroscience. 2012;204:134-44.
McLaughlin, R. J., & Gobbi, G. (2012). Cannabinoids and emotionality: a neuroanatomical perspective. Neuroscience, 204, pp. 134-44. doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2011.07.052.
McLaughlin RJ, Gobbi G. Cannabinoids and Emotionality: a Neuroanatomical Perspective. Neuroscience. 2012 Mar 1;204:134-44. PubMed PMID: 21827834.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Cannabinoids and emotionality: a neuroanatomical perspective. AU - McLaughlin,R J, AU - Gobbi,G, Y1 - 2011/07/27/ PY - 2011/06/07/received PY - 2011/07/17/revised PY - 2011/07/20/accepted PY - 2011/8/11/entrez PY - 2011/8/11/pubmed PY - 2012/7/24/medline SP - 134 EP - 44 JF - Neuroscience JO - Neuroscience VL - 204 N2 - The endocannabinoid system has recently emerged as a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of stress-related emotional disorders. A growing literature base has collectively demonstrated that facilitation of endocannabinoid signaling promotes antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like responses in preclinical animal models, while disruption of this system profoundly affects emotion, cognition, and neuroendocrine functioning. Although these findings are encouraging, the role of endocannabinoid signaling within discrete corticolimbic brain structures is considerably complex. Consequently, researchers have recently shifted focus to examining the effects of local cannabinoid manipulations on emotion from a neuroanatomical standpoint. This review provides an overview of the site-specific effects of cannabinergic compounds in preclinical tests of emotionality, as well as the alterations in endocannabinoid signaling observed in animal models of depression. Broadly speaking, these studies indicate that CB(1) receptors in the medial prefrontal cortex and ventral hippocampus appear to be responsible for the antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like phenotype elicited by systemic CB(1) receptor agonists, which parallels biochemical studies showing that endocannabinoids are downregulated in these two regions following exposure to chronic stress. Conversely, CB(1) receptor activation within distinct amygdalar nuclei yields opposing effects on emotional behavior, such that local stimulation of CB(1) receptors in the basolateral amygdala and central amygdala promoting anxiogenesis and anxiolysis, respectively. Moreover, a series of elegant studies has revealed that cannabinoid transmission in the basolateral amygdala strongly modulates the acquisition and processing of associative fear memory via interactions with the medial prefrontal cortex. Given the crucial role of this corticolimbic network in regulating emotional behavior, it is palpable that alterations in endocannabinoid signaling within any of these structures could have profound implications for the pathophysiological development of affective illnesses. Accordingly, local pharmacological augmentation of endocannabinoid signaling within discrete corticolimbic subregions may serve as a promising therapeutic strategy for the treatment of these debilitating disorders. SN - 1873-7544 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/21827834/Cannabinoids_and_emotionality:_a_neuroanatomical_perspective_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -