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Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2011 Mar 30;35(2):434-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2010.11.027. Epub 2010 Nov 25.

Facilitation of CB1 receptor-mediated neurotransmission decreases marble burying behavior in mice.

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Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Bandeirantes Avenue 3900, Ribeirão Preto, SP, 14049-900, Brazil.


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common psychiatric disorder characterized by the occurrence of obsessions and compulsions. Glutamatergic abnormalities have been related to the pathophysiology of OCD. Cannabinoids inhibit glutamate release in the central nervous system, but the involvement of drugs targeting the endocannabinoid system has not yet been tested in animal models of repetitive behavior. Thus, the aim of the present study was to verify the effects of the CB1 receptor agonist WIN55,212-2, the inhibitor of anandamide uptake AM404 and the anandamide hydrolysis inhibitor URB597, on compulsive-associate behavior in male C57BL/6J mice submitted to the marble burying test (MBT), an animal model used for anti-compulsive drug screening. WIN55,212-2 (1 and 3 mg/kg), AM404 (1 and 3 mg/kg) and URB597 (0.1, 0.3 and 1 mg/kg) induced a significant decrease in the number of buried marbles compared to controls. Pretreatment with the CB1 receptor antagonist, AM251, prevented both WIN55,212-2 and URB597 effects. These results suggest a potential role for drugs acting on the cannabinoid system in modulating compulsive behavior.

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