JOURNAL ARTICLE

Basolateral amygdala CB1 cannabinoid receptors mediate nicotine-induced place preference

Shiva Hashemizadeh, Maryam Sardari, Ameneh Rezayof
Progress in Neuro-psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry 2014 June 3, 51: 65-71
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In the present study, the effects of bilateral microinjections of cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonist and antagonist into the basolateral amygdala (intra-BLA) on nicotine-induced place preference were examined in rats. A conditioned place preference (CPP) apparatus was used for the assessment of rewarding effects of the drugs in adult male Wistar rats. Subcutaneous (s.c.) administration of nicotine (0.2mg/kg) induced a significant CPP, without any effect on the locomotor activity during the testing phase. Intra-BLA microinjection of a non-selective cannabinoid CB1/CB2 receptor agonist, WIN 55,212-2 (0.1-0.5 μg/rat) with an ineffective dose of nicotine (0.1mg/kg, s.c.) induced a significant place preference. On the other hand, intra-BLA administration of AM251 (20-60 ng/rat), a selective cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist inhibited the acquisition of nicotine-induced place preference. It should be considered that the microinjection of the same doses of WIN 55,212-2 or AM251 into the BLA, by itself had no effect on the CPP score. The administration of a higher dose of AM251 (60 ng/rat) during the acquisition decreased the locomotor activity of animals on the testing phase. Interestingly, the microinjection of AM251 (20 and 40 ng/rat), but not WIN55,212-2 (0.1-0.5 μg/rat), into the BLA inhibited the expression of nicotine-induced place preference without any effect on the locomotor activity. Taken together, these findings support the possible role of endogenous cannabinoid system of the BLA in the acquisition and the expression of nicotine-induced place preference. Furthermore, it seems that there is a functional interaction between the BLA cannabinoid receptors and nicotine in producing the rewarding effects.

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