BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
Pharmacological interventions aimed at restoring the endocannabinoid system functionality have been proposed as potential tools in the treatment of schizophrenia. Based on our previous results suggesting a potential antipsychotic-like profile of the CB1 receptor inverse agonist/antagonist, AM251, here we further investigated the effect of chronic AM251 administration on the alteration of the sensorimotor gating functions and endocannabinoid levels induced by isolation rearing in rats.
Using the post-weaning social isolation rearing model, we studied its influence on sensorimotor gating functions through the PPI paradigm. The presence of alterations in the endocannabinoid levels as well as in dopamine and glutamate receptor densities was explored in specific brain regions following isolation rearing. The effect of chronic AM251 administration on PPI response and the associated biochemical alterations was assessed.
The disrupted PPI response in isolation-reared rats was paralleled by significant alterations in 2-AG content and dopamine and glutamate receptor densities in specific brain regions. Chronic AM251 completely restored normal PPI response in isolated rats. This behavioural recovery was paralleled by the normalization of 2-AG levels in all the brain areas analysed. Furthermore, AM251 partially antagonized isolation-induced changes in dopamine and glutamate receptors.
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS
These results demonstrate the efficacy of chronic AM251 treatment in the recovery of isolation-induced disruption of PPI. Moreover, AM251 counteracted the imbalances in the endocannabinoid content, specifically 2-AG levels, and partially reversed the alterations in dopamine and glutamate systems associated with the disrupted behaviour. Together, these findings support the potential antipsychotic-like activity of CB1 receptor blockade.
This article is part of a themed section on Cannabinoids. To view the other articles in this section visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2012.167.issue-8
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