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Cannabinoid receptors and reward in the rat: a conditioned place preference study
We wished to investigate further the hypothesis of an endogenous cannabinoid 'aversive counter-rewarding system, as the rewarding properties of cannabinoids using standard procedures remain ambiguous. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to confirm the behavioural effects of a highly potent synthetic cannabinoid agonist (HU210) and the selective cannabinoid antagonist SR 141716A using conditioned place preference (CPP). METHODS: HU210 (20, 60 and 100 microg kg(-1), SR141716A (0.25, 0.5, 2 and 3 mg kg(-1)), cocaine (15 mg kg(-1) and delta9-THC (1.5 mg kg(-1)) were given to male Lister hooded rats using an unbiased CPP design. RESULTS: SR141716A and cocaine produced place preference at all doses tested, whereas HU210 and delta9-THC produced aversion as expressed by time spent in the drug-paired compartment of the CPP apparatus. CONCLUSIONS: The aversive effects of cannabinoid agonists and the rewarding effect of the cannabinoid antagonist are suggestive of a cannabinergic tone in the rat brain. Further research is needed to determine the precise relationship of that tone with the reward pathways of the brain.
Cheer JF, Kendall DA, Marsden CA