A comparison of delta 9-THC and anandamide induced c-fos expression in the rat forebrain.Brain Res. 1998 Aug 17; 802(1-2):19-26.BR
Rats were injected with the cannabinoid receptor agonists delta 9-THC (5 mg/kg) or anandamide (20 mg/kg) and assessed for changes in body temperature and locomotor activity. Their brains were then examined for the expression of the immediate early gene c-fos. Similar reductions in body temperature and locomotor activity were seen with delta 9-THC and anandamide although there was evidence, in line with previous reports, to suggest a shorter duration of action of anandamide. delta 9-THC and anandamide caused equally high levels of c-fos expression in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and the lateral septum. Both drugs also increased c-fos expression in the central nucleus of the amygdala although the effect was greater with delta 9-THC. Only delta 9-THC caused significant increases in c-fos expression in the nucleus accumbens and caudate-putamen. These differences may be linked to differential activation of cannabinoid receptor subtypes or to differences in efficacy in activating second messenger systems linked to cannabinoid receptors. These findings complement evidence of qualitative differences in the actions of anandamide and delta 9-THC emerging from tests of drug discrimination, cross-tolerance, conditioned place preference and anxiety.