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Behavioral Effects Of Pulp Exposure In Mice Lacking Cannabinoid Receptor 2

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Cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) is an intriguing target for the treatment of pain because of its ability to mediate analgesia without psychoactive effects, but little is known about the role of CB2 in pain of endodontic origin. The purpose of this study was to determine the behavioral effects of dental pulp exposure in wild-type (WT) mice and to explore the contribution of CB2 to these behaviors using CB2 knockout (CB2 KO) mice.

Pulp exposures were created unilaterally in the maxillary and mandibular first molars of female WT and CB2 KO mice. The open field test was used before pulp exposure or sham surgery, and postoperatively at 1 day, 1 week, 2 weeks, and 3 weeks. Mouse body weight and food consumption were recorded preoperatively and postoperatively at 1 day, 2 days, and 1 week.

At baseline, CB2 KO mice weighed significantly more and had significantly greater food intake than WT mice. CB2 KO mice exhibited greater anxiety-like behavior in the baseline open field test, having significantly fewer center crossings and less distance traveled than WT mice. Pulp exposure had relatively little effect on the behavior of WT mice. CB2 KO mice with pulp exposures showed a decrease in food intake and body weight after surgery, and pulp exposure resulted in significantly fewer center crossings in the open field test in CB2 KO mice.

Pulp exposure in CB2 KO mice resulted in behaviors consistent with an increase in pain and/or anxiety.

Source: Behavioral effects of pulp exposure in mice lacking ... [J Endod. 2012] - PubMed - NCBI
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