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Behavioral Effects Of CB2 Cannabinoid Receptor Activation And Its Influence On Food

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Consumers of marijuana typically feel a strong, compulsive desire to consume food. Although past research revealed that the CB1 cannabinoid receptor is a potent regulator of food intake, the functional presence of neuronal CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the brain has been controversial. The role of CB2 receptors in food and alcohol consumption and the behavioral effects of CB2 receptor ligands are not well characterized. This is because CB2 cannabinoid receptors were thought to be absent from the brain and expressed primarily in immune cells and in the periphery. We tested the effects of peripheral injections of CB2 antagonist AM 630, CB2 agonist PEA, and CB1 antagonist AM 251 on male C57BL/6, Balb/c, and DBA/2 mice at the beginning of the night cycle and after overnight 12-hour fasts. We also investigated the effects of the putative CB2 agonist, JWH015, and CB2 antagonist, SR144528, in mouse motor function tests and in the two-compartment black and white box. Under standard conditions, the CB2 antagonist AM 630 inhibited food consumption in C57BL/6 mice and DBA/2 mice, but failed to block food intake of Balb/c mice. The CB2 agonist PEA had no significant effect on food consumption in Balb/c mice, and reduced food intake in C57BL/6 and DBA mice. The CB1 antagonist AM 251 inhibited food ingestion in the three mouse strains at variable times. After 12-hour food deprivation, the CB2 antagonist AM 630 increased food consumption in C57Bl/6 mice, but failed to produce significant changes in food intake for Balb/c and DBA/2 mice. The CB2 agonist PEA also reduced food consumption in all three mice strains at variable times. In comparison to the CB2 ligands, CB1 antagonist AM 251 inhibited food ingestion in the mouse strains. A general pattern of depression in locomotor activity was induced by JWH 015 in both males and females in the three mouse strains tested as the dose was increased. The development and enhancement of alcohol preference was observed after chronic treatment with CB2 agonist JWH 015 in stressed mice, but not in controls. In the DBA/2 strain, the spontaneous locomotor activity and stereotype behavior was enhanced by acute administration of low doses of SR144528. There was a reduction in CNR2 gene expression in the ventral mid-brain region of mice that developed alcohol preference, but not in those that did not develop alcohol preference. These effects of CB2 cannabinoid receptor ligands in in vivo behavioral tests are provided as functional evidence that CB2-Rs in the brain play a role in food and alcohol consumption and in the modification of mouse behavior.

Source: Behavioral effects of CB2 cannabinoid recep... [Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2008] - PubMed - NCBI
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