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Behav Pharmacol. 2005 Sep;16(5-6):373-80.

Delta9-THC induced hyperphagia and tolerance assessment: interactions between the CB1 receptor agonist delta9-THC and the CB1 receptor antagonist SR-141716 (rimonabant) in rats.

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Temple University, Department of Psychology, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


This study examined effects of the CB1 receptor antagonist/inverse agonist SR-141716 and the CB1 receptor agonist delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta9-THC) on feeding behavior in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Rats were housed individually with free access to regular pelletized laboratory chow [after a 2 weeks handling phase, animals had access to regular chow for 21 h (Study 1) or 22 h (Study 2); high-fat powder food for 3 h in Study 1 and 2 h in Study 2, respectively], and free access to water. Animals were maintained on a reversed 12-h light/dark cycle (dark beginning at noon). Rats were habituated to this type of feeding and light/dark schedule for 3 weeks until a stable baseline for food intake was achieved. In Study 1, animals were examined after administration of delta9-THC alone (dose range 0.1-1.8 mg/kg), SR-141716 alone (dose range 0.03-0.3 mg/kg), and the two drugs combined; injections were given i.p. at the beginning of the second hour after presenting the high-fat diet and drugs were given twice weekly. There was a dose-related increase in high-fat diet intake, peaking at 0.56-1 mg/kg delta9-THC. SR-141716 alone suppressed the high-fat diet intake below control levels. A combination of 0.3 mg/kg SR-141716 and 0.56 mg/kg delta9-THC counteracted the effects on consumption of either drug alone. In Study 2, experimental rats were treated initially with 0.56 mg/kg delta9-THC for six consecutive days; controls received vehicle. Attenuation of the hyperphagia (high-fat diet) was evident after the second injection. Increasing doses of delta9-THC (1 and 1.8 mg/kg, for two and three consecutive days, respectively) did not reinstate the initial hyperphagia. In conclusion, low-to-moderate doses of delta9-THC produced hyperphagia (to a high-fat food source), which was antagonized by SR-141716. SR-141716 singly suppressed intake of the high-fat diet. Delta9-THC-induced hyperphagia dissipated rapidly upon chronic treatment; however, it is unclear whether this reflects pharmacological tolerance or the emergence of a conditioned taste aversion in Study 2.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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