The role of cannabinoid CB 1 receptors in the action of anxiolytics was examined. Deletion of CB 1 receptors resulted in increased anxiety-like behaviours in light/dark box, elevated plus maze and social interaction tests. Mutant mice presented basal low corticosterone concentrations and low proopiomelanocortin gene expression in the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland compared to wild-type mice. Ten minutes of restraint stress resulted in a twofold increase in corticosterone concentrations in the plasma of mutant mice, compared to wild-type mice. Bromazepam (50 or 100 μg/kg) markedly increased the time spent in light area in wild-type animals, though both doses were without effect in mutant mice. Administration of buspirone (1 or 2 mg/kg) produced anxiolytic effects in wild-type mice. In contrast, only the highest dose of buspirone had anxiolytic results in mutant mice. Our findings reveal that CB 1 receptors are involved in the regulation of emotional responses, and play a pivotal role in the action mechanism of anxiolytics. They suggest that alterations in the functional activity of the CB 1 receptor may be related to the emergence of anxiety disorders, and may affect treatment with anxiolytics.
Neuropharmacology – Elsevier
Published: Jun 1, 2004
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