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Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.PNPBP.2020.110141

Effects of vapourized THC and voluntary alcohol drinking during adolescence on cognition, reward, and anxiety-like behaviours in rats

02 Mar 2021-Progress in Neuro-psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry (Elsevier)-Vol. 106, pp 110141-110141
Abstract: Cannabis and alcohol co-use is prevalent in adolescence, but the long-term behavioural effects of this co-use remain largely unexplored. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of adolescent alcohol and Δ9-tetrahydracannabinol (THC) vapour co-exposure on cognitive- and reward-related behaviours. Male Sprague-Dawley rats received vapourized THC (10 mg vapourized THC/four adolescent rats) or vehicle every other day (from post-natal day (PND) 28–42) and had continuous voluntary access to ethanol (10% volume/volume) in adolescence. Alcohol intake was measured during the exposure period to assess the acute effects of THC on alcohol consumption. In adulthood (PND 56+), rats underwent behavioural testing. Adolescent rats showed higher alcohol preference, assessed using the two-bottle choice test, on days on which they were not exposed to THC vapour. In adulthood, rats that drank alcohol as adolescents exhibited short-term memory deficits and showed decreased alcohol preference; on the other hand, rats exposed to THC vapour showed learning impairments in the delay-discounting task. Vapourized THC, alcohol or their combination had no effect on anxiety-like behaviours in adulthood. Our results show that although adolescent THC exposure acutely affects alcohol drinking, adolescent alcohol and cannabis co-use may not produce long-term additive effects.

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Topics: Cannabis (50%)
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7 results found


Open access
01 Nov 2014-
Abstract: Alcohol drinking during adolescence is associated with increased alcohol drinking and alcohol dependence in adulthood. Research examining the biologic consequences of adolescent ethanol (EtOH) consumption on the response to EtOH in the neurocircuitry shown to regulate drug reinforcement is limited. The experiments were designed to determine the effects of periadolescent alcohol drinking on the reinforcing properties of EtOH within the posterior ventral tegmental area (pVTA) and the ability of EtOH microinjected into the pVTA to stimulate dopamine (DA) release in the nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh). EtOH access (24-hour free-choice) by alcohol-preferring rats occurred during postnatal days (PND) 30–60. Animals were tested for their response to EtOH after PND 85. Intracranial self-administration techniques were performed to assess EtOH self-infusion into the pVTA. In the second experiment, rats received microinjections of EtOH into the pVTA, and dialysis samples were collected from the AcbSh. The results indicate that in rats that consumed EtOH during adolescence, the pVTA was more sensitive to the reinforcing effects of EtOH (a lower concentration of EtOH supported self-administration) and the ability of EtOH microinjected into the pVTA to stimulate DA release in the AcbSh was enhanced (sensitivity and magnitude). The data indicate that EtOH consumption during adolescence altered the mesolimbic DA system to be more sensitive and responsive to EtOH. This increase in the response to EtOH within the mesolimbic DA during adulthood could be part of biologic sequelae that are the basis for the deleterious effects of adolescent alcohol consumption on the rate of alcoholism during adulthood.

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23 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.3389/FPSYT.2021.597725
Bryan W. Jenkins1, Jibran Y. Khokhar1Institutions (1)
Abstract: Patients with a serious mental illness often use cannabis at higher rates than the general population and are also often diagnosed with cannabis use disorder. Clinical studies reveal a strong association between the psychoactive effects of cannabis and the symptoms of serious mental illnesses. Although some studies purport that cannabis may treat mental illnesses, others have highlighted the negative consequences of use for patients with a mental illness and for otherwise healthy users. As epidemiological and clinical studies are unable to directly infer causality or examine neurobiology through circuit manipulation, preclinical animal models remain a valuable resource for examining the causal effects of cannabis. This is especially true considering the diversity of constituents in the cannabis plant contributing to its effects. In this mini-review, we provide an updated perspective on the preclinical evidence of shared neurobiological mechanisms underpinning the dual diagnosis of cannabis use disorder and a serious mental illness. We present studies of cannabinoid exposure in otherwise healthy rodents, as well as rodent models of schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar disorder, and the resulting impact on electrophysiological indices of neural circuit activity. We propose a consolidated neural circuit-based understanding of the preclinical evidence to generate new hypotheses and identify novel therapeutic targets.

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Topics: Effects of cannabis (61%), Dual diagnosis (61%), Mental illness (58%) ... read more

3 Citations


Open accessPosted ContentDOI: 10.1101/2021.06.23.449629
Ruffolo J1, Jude A. Frie1, Hayley H. A. Thorpe1, Talhat M1  +1 moreInstitutions (1)
24 Jun 2021-bioRxiv
Abstract: Introduction: Co-occurrence of e-cigarette use and alcohol consumption during adolescence is frequent. However, little is known about their long-lasting effects when combined. Here, we examined whether adolescent co-exposure to alcohol drinking and vapourized nicotine would impact reward- and cognition-related behaviours in adult male and female rats during adulthood. Methods: Four groups of male and female Sprague Dawley rats (n=8-11/group/sex) received either nicotine (JUUL 5% nicotine pods) or vehicle vapour daily between postnatal days 30-46, while having continuous voluntary access to ethanol and water during this time in a two-bottle preference design. Upon reaching adulthood, rats underwent behavioural testing utilizing Pavlovian conditioned approach testing, fear conditioning and a two-bottle alcohol preference test. Results: A sex-dependent effect was found in the two-bottle preference test in adulthood such that females had a higher intake and preference for alcohol compared to males regardless of adolescent exposure; both male and female adult rats had greater alcohol preference compared to adolescents. Male rats exposed to vapourized nicotine with or without alcohol drinking during adolescence exhibited altered reward-related learning in adulthood, evidenced by enhanced levels of sign-tracking behaviour. Male rats that drank alcohol with or without nicotine vapour in adolescence showed deficits in associative fear learning and memory as adults. In contrast, these effects were not seen in female rats exposed to alcohol and nicotine vapour during adolescence. Conclusions: The present study provides evidence that co-exposure to alcohol and vapourized nicotine during adolescence in male, but not female, rats produces long-term changes in reward- and cognition-related behaviours.

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Topics: Nicotine (55%)

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1523/ENEURO.0319-21.2021
01 Sep 2021-
Abstract: Spontaneous recognition memory tasks are widely used to assess cognitive function in rodents and have become commonplace in the characterization of rodent models of neurodegenerative, neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders. Leveraging an animal’s innate preference for novelty, these tasks use object exploration to capture the what, where and when components of recognition memory. Choosing and optimizing objects is a key feature when designing recognition memory tasks. Although the range of objects used in these tasks varies extensively across studies, object features can bias exploration, influence task difficulty and alter brain circuit recruitment. Here, we discuss the advantages of using 3D printed objects in rodent spontaneous recognition memory tasks. We provide strategies for optimizing their design and usage, and offer a repository of tested, open-source designs for use with commonly used rodent species. The easy accessibility, low-cost, renewability and flexibility of 3D printed open-source designs make this approach an important step toward improving rigor and reproducibility in rodent spontaneous recognition memory tasks. Significance statement Spontaneous recognition memory tasks are becoming standard in neuroscience labs studying cognitive function and using preclinical models of neurodegenerative, neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders. Yet, variability in object selection across labs hinders cross-lab comparisons and consensus across the field. Here we discuss the advantages of, and optimization strategies for, the use of 3D-printed objects in rodent spontaneous recognition memory tasks, with the goal of increasing accessibility, reproducibility and rigor when running these tasks. We also share tested, open-source object designs for rats and mice with the broader scientific community.

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Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.PNPBP.2021.110305
Erik B. Oleson1, Jibran Y. Khokhar2Institutions (2)
Abstract: Cannabinoids from the cannabis plant were one of the earliest psychoactive phytochemicals harnessed by humanity for their medicinal properties and remain one of the most frequently used and misused classes of chemicals in the world. Despite our long-standing history with cannabinoids, much more is said than is known regarding how these molecules influence the brain and behavior. We are in a rapidly evolving discovery phase regarding the neuroscience of cannabinoids. This period of insight began in the mid-1990s when it was discovered that phytocannabinoids (e.g., delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) act on G protein-coupled receptors (i.e., CB1/CB2) in the brain to produce their psychoactive effects. Shortly thereafter, it was discovered that endogenous ligands (i.e., endocannabinoids) exist for these receptor targets and, that they are synthetized on demand under a variety of physiological conditions. Thus, we can now study how phytochemicals, endogenous ligands, and synthetic/metabolic enzymes of the endocannabinoid system influence the brain and behavior by activating known receptor targets. Our increased ability to study cannabinoid interactions with the brain and behavior coincides with an increase in international interest in utilizing cannabinoids as a medicine. At the same time, the potency of, and administration routes by which cannabinoids are used is rapidly changing. And, these trends in cannabinoid misuse are producing lasting neural adaptations that have implications for mental health. In this special edition, we will summarize our recent period of discovery regarding how: 1) phytocannabinoids, synthetic cannabinoids and endocannabinoids act on the brain to produce behavioral effects; 2) cannabinoids can be harnessed to produce pharmacotherapeutic utility in the field of medicine; and 3) use of increasingly more cannabinoid variants through unique routes of administration alter the brain and behavior, especially when used in critical developmental periods like pregnancy and adolescence.

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84 results found


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/NPROT.2007.44
Alicia A. Walf1, Cheryl A. FryeInstitutions (1)
01 Jan 2007-Nature Protocols
Abstract: The elevated plus maze is a widely used behavioral assay for rodents and it has been validated to assess the anti-anxiety effects of pharmacological agents and steroid hormones, and to define brain regions and mechanisms underlying anxiety-related behavior. Briefly, rats or mice are placed at the junction of the four arms of the maze, facing an open arm, and entries/duration in each arm are recorded by a video-tracking system and observer simultaneously for 5 min. Other ethological parameters (i.e., rears, head dips and stretched-attend postures) can also be observed. An increase in open arm activity (duration and/or entries) reflects anti-anxiety behavior. In our laboratory, rats or mice are exposed to the plus maze on one occasion; thus, results can be obtained in 5 min per rodent.

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Topics: Elevated plus maze (62%)

1,783 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1007/S10339-011-0430-Z
Abstract: Animal models of memory have been considered as the subject of many scientific publications at least since the beginning of the twentieth century. In humans, memory is often accessed through spoken or written language, while in animals, cognitive functions must be accessed through different kind of behaviors in many specific, experimental models of memory and learning. Among them, the novel object recognition test can be evaluated by the differences in the exploration time of novel and familiar objects. Its application is not limited to a field of research and enables that various issues can be studied, such as the memory and learning, the preference for novelty, the influence of different brain regions in the process of recognition, and even the study of different drugs and their effects. This paper describes the novel object recognition paradigms in animals, as a valuable measure of cognition. The purpose of this work was to review the neurobiology and methodological modifications of the test commonly used in behavioral pharmacology.

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Topics: Cognition (52%), Novelty (51%)

1,261 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/SJ.NPP.1300225
Miriam Schneider1, Michael Koch1Institutions (1)
Abstract: There is evidence from studies in humans and animals that a vulnerable period for chronic cannabinoid administration exists during certain phases of development The present study tested the hypothesis that long-lasting interference of cannabinoids with the developing endogenous cannabinoid system during puberty causes persistent behavioral alterations in adult rats Chronic treatment with the synthetic cannabinoid agonist WIN 55,212-2 (WIN) (12 mg/kg) or vehicle was extended over 25 days either throughout the rats' puberty or for a similar time period in adult rats The rats received 20 injections intraperitoneally (ip), which were not delivered regularly Adult rats were tested for object recognition memory, performance in a progressive ratio (PR) operant behavior task, locomotor activity, and prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle response (ASR) PPI was significantly disrupted only by chronic peripubertal cannabinoid treatment This long-lasting PPI deficit was reversed by the acute administration of the dopamine antagonist haloperidol Furthermore, we found deficits in recognition memory of pubertal-treated rats and these animals showed lower break points in a PR schedule, whereas food preference and locomotion were not affected Adult chronic cannabinoid treatment had no effect on the behaviors tested Therefore, we conclude that puberty in rats is a vulnerable period with respect to the adverse effects of cannabinoid treatment Since PPI deficits, object recognition memory impairments, and anhedonia/avolition are among the endophenotypes of schizophrenia, we propose chronic cannabinoid administration during pubertal development as an animal model for some aspects of the etiology of schizophrenia

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Topics: WIN 55,212-2 (58%), Cannabinoid (55%), Prepulse inhibition (52%) ... read more

390 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1111/J.1471-4159.2008.05835.X
Abstract: Adolescence is a developmental period which the risk of drug and alcohol abuse increases. Since mesolimbic dopaminergic system undergoes developmental changes during adolescence, and this system is involved in rewarding effects of drugs of abuse, we addressed the hypothesis that ethanol exposure during juvenile/adolescent period over-activates mesolimbic dopaminergic system inducing adaptations which can trigger long-term enduring behavioural effects of alcohol abuse. We treated juvenile/adolescent or adult rats with ethanol (3 g/kg) for two-consecutive days at 48-h intervals over 14-day period. Here we show that intermittent ethanol treatment during the juvenile/adolescence period alters subsequent ethanol intake. In vivo microdialysis demonstrates that ethanol elicits a similar prolonged dopamine response in the nucleus accumbens of both adolescent and adult animals pre-treated with multiple doses of ethanol, although the basal dopamine levels were higher in ethanol-treated adolescents than in adult-treated animals. Repeated ethanol administration also down-regulates the expression of DRD2 and NMDAR2B phosphorylation in prefrontal cortex of adolescent animals, but not of adult rats. Finally, ethanol treatment during adolescence changes the acetylation of histones H3 and H4 in frontal cortex, nucleus accumbens and striatum, suggesting chromatin remodelling changes. In summary, our findings demonstrate the sensitivity of adolescent brain to ethanol effects on dopaminergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission, and suggest that abnormal plasticity in reward-related processes and epigenetic mechanisms could contribute to the vulnerability of adolescents to alcohol addiction.

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Topics: Dopaminergic (56%), Nucleus accumbens (55%), Striatum (54%) ... read more

294 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/SJ.NPP.1301664
Tiziana Rubino1, Daniela Viganò1, Natalia Realini1, C. Guidali1  +8 moreInstitutions (3)
Abstract: Few and often contradictory reports exist on the long-term neurobiological consequences of cannabinoid consumption in adolescents. The endocannabinoid system plays an important role during the different stages of brain development as cannabinoids influence the release and action of different neurotransmitters and promote neurogenesis. This study tested whether long-lasting interference by cannabinoids with the developing endogenous cannabinoid system during adolescence caused persistent behavioral alterations in adult rats. Adolescent female and male rats were treated with increasing doses of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for 11 days (postnatal day (PND) 35-45) and left undisturbed until adulthood (PND 75) when behavioral and biochemical assays were carried out. CB1 receptor level and CB1/G-protein coupling were significantly reduced by THC exposure in the amygdala (Amyg), ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) of female rats, whereas male rats had significant alterations only in the amygdala and hippocampal formation. Neither female nor male rats showed any changes in anxiety responses (elevated plus maze and open-field tests) but female rats presented significant 'behavioral despair' (forced swim test) paralleled by anhedonia (sucrose preference). In contrast, male rats showed no behavioral despair but did present anhedonia. This different behavioral picture was supported by biochemical parameters of depression, namely CREB alteration. Only female rats had low CREB activity in the hippocampal formation and prefrontal cortex and high activity in the NAc paralleled by increases in dynorphin expression. These results suggest that heavy cannabis consumption in adolescence may induce subtle alterations in the emotional circuit in female rats, ending in depressive-like behavior, whereas male rats show altered sensitivity to rewarding stimuli.

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Topics: Ventral tegmental area (53%), Nucleus accumbens (53%), Elevated plus maze (52%) ... read more

281 Citations