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Brain Res. 2001 Aug 3;909(1-2):121-6.

Endogenous cannabinoid, 2-arachidonoylglycerol, attenuates naloxone-precipitated withdrawal signs in morphine-dependent mice.

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Department of Pharmacology, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyushu University, 3-1-1 Maidashi, Higashi-ku, 812-8582, Fukuoka, Japan.


In the present study, we examined the effects of endogenous ligand 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) on naloxone-precipitated withdrawal in morphine-dependent mice, in comparison with that of two cannabinoid agonists, an ingredient of Cannabis sativa Delta(8)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta(8)-THC) and the synthetic cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonist HU-210. 2-AG at a dose of 10 microg per mouse (i.c.v.) significantly inhibited both jumping and forepaw tremor as signs of withdrawal following naloxone challenge in morphine-dependent mice. Furthermore, both Delta(8)-THC and HU-210 significantly attenuated these symptoms of withdrawal in morphine-dependent mice. Therefore, it is suggested that inactivation of the endogenous cannabinoid system is related to the induction of withdrawal syndrome in morphine-dependent mice. Moreover, hyperlocomotor activity in morphine-dependent mice was markedly increased by Delta(8)-THC 10 mg/kg, which had no effect in naive mice. This finding suggested that in morphine dependence, upregulation of cannabinoid CB1 receptors occurred. Non-psychoactive CB1 receptor agonists or accelerators of endocannabinoid synthesis may be potential as therapeutic drugs for opiate withdrawal symptoms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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