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Ultra-low dose cannabinoid antagonist AM251 enhances cannabinoid anticonvulsant

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Several lines of evidence suggest that cannabinoid compounds are anticonvulsant since they have inhibitory effects at micromolar doses, which are mediated by activated receptors coupling to Gi/o proteins. Surprisingly, both the analgesic and anticonvulsant effects of opioids are enhanced by ultra-low doses (nanomolar to picomolar) of the opioid antagonist naltrexone and as opioid and cannabinoid systems interact, it has been shown that ultra-low dose naltrexone also enhances cannabinoid-induced antinociception. However, regarding the seizure modulating properties of both classes of receptors this study investigated whether ultra-low dose cannabinoid antagonist AM251 influences cannabinoid anticonvulsant effects. The clonic seizure threshold (CST) was tested in separate groups of male NMRI mice following injection of vehicle, the cannabinoid selective agonist arachidonyl-2-chloroethylamide (ACEA) and ultra-low doses of the cannabinoid CB1 antagonist AM251 and a combination of ACEA and AM251 doses in a model of clonic seizure induced by pentylenetetrazole (PTZ). Systemic administration of ultra-low doses of AM251 (10 fg/kg-100 ng/kg) significantly potentiated the anticonvulsant effect of ACEA at 0.5 and 1 mg/kg. Moreover, inhibition of cannabinoid induced excitatory signaling by AM251 (100 pg/kg) unmasked a strong anticonvulsant effect for very low doses of ACEA (100 ng/kg-100 microg/kg), suggesting that a presumed inhibitory component of cannabinoid receptor signaling can exert strong seizure-protective effects even at very low levels of cannabinoid receptor activation. A similar potentiation by AM251 (100 pg/kg and 1 ng/kg) of anticonvulsant effects of non-effective dose of ACEA (0.5 and 1 mg/kg) was also observed in the generalized tonic-clonic model of seizure. The present data suggest that ultra-low doses of cannabinoid receptor antagonists may provide a potent strategy to modulate seizure susceptibility, especially in conjunction with very low doses of cannabinoids.

Source: Pubmed.gov
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