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CB1 receptor knockout mice display reduced ethanol-induced conditioned place preference and increased striatal dopamine D2 receptors.

Abstract : Cannabinoids and ethanol activate the same reward pathways, and recent advances in the understanding of the neurobiological basis of alcoholism suggest that the CB1 receptor system may play a key role in the reinforcing effects of ethanol and in modulating ethanol intake. In the present study, male CB1 receptors knockout mice generated on a CD1 background displayed decreased ethanol-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) compared to wild-type (CB1(+/+)) mice. Ethanol (0.5, 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 g/kg) induced significant CPP in CB1(+/+) mice at all doses tested, whereas it induced significant CPP only at the highest dose of ethanol (2.0 g/kg) in CB1(-/-) mice. However, there was no genotypic difference in cocaine (20 mg/kg)-induced CPP. There was also no genotypic difference, neither in cocaine (10-50 mg/kg) nor in D-amphetamine (1.2-5 mg/kg)-induced locomotor effects. In addition, mutant and wild-type mice did not differ in sensitivity to the anxiolytic effects of ethanol (1.5 g/kg) when tested using the elevated plus maze. Interestingly, this decrease in ethanol efficacy to induce CPP in CB1(-/-) mice was correlated with an increase in D2/D3 receptors, as determined by [3H]raclopride binding, whereas there was no difference in D1-like receptors, as determined by [3H]SCH23390 binding, measured in the striatum from drug-naive mice. This increase in D2/D3 binding sites observed in CB1 knockout mice was associated with an altered locomotor response to the D2/D3 agonist quinpirole (low doses 0.02-0.1 mg/kg) but not to an alteration of quinpirole (0.1-1.0 mg/kg)-induced CPP compared to wild-type mice. Altogether, the present results indicate that lifelong deletion of CB1 receptors reduced ethanol-induced CPP and that these reduced rewarding effects of ethanol are correlated to an overexpression of striatal dopamine D2 receptors.
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Submitted on : Sunday, November 26, 2006 - 11:56:20 PM
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Hakim Houchi, Daniela Babovic, Olivier Pierrefiche, Catherine Ledent, Martine Daoust, et al.. CB1 receptor knockout mice display reduced ethanol-induced conditioned place preference and increased striatal dopamine D2 receptors.. Neuropsychopharmacology, Nature Publishing Group, 2005, 30 (2), pp.339-49. ⟨10.1038/sj.npp.1300568⟩. ⟨inserm-00116578⟩

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