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Br J Pharmacol. 2012 Jul;166(6):1815-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2012.01888.x.

Noladin ether, a putative endocannabinoid, enhances motivation to eat after acute systemic administration in rats.

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Department of Experimental Psychology, Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Endocannabinoid systems are strongly implicated in the physiological control of appetite and eating behaviour, with cannabinoid CB(1) receptor agonists and antagonists, respectively, increasing or decreasing food intake. This study examined the acute actions of the putative endocannabinoid noladin ether on food intake and eating motivation, assessing how it affects the amount of work expended by animals to obtain food. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH Non-deprived male rats were injected systemically with noladin ether to assess its acute effects on ad libitum feeding of a standard laboratory diet. Additionally, the effects of noladin on lever pressing for palatable food were determined using a progressive ratio (PR) operant paradigm. KEY RESULTS Noladin dose dependently increased 2 h food intake, with a significant effect over 1 h after a dose of 0.5 mg·kg(-1). In the PR test, this hyperphagic dose of noladin ether promoted sustained high rates of responding and significantly increased the total number of lever presses and break-point. These latter effects were prevented by pretreatment with 1.0 mg·kg(-1) of the selective CB(1) antagonist surinabant (SR147778), that alone had no effect on responding. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS This is the first report of hyperphagia induced by acute noladin administration, and the first description of behavioural actions in rats. Consistent with prevailing notions about the role of endocannabinoids in appetite, a hyperphagic dose of noladin markedly increased efforts expended by animals to obtain food. Thus, noladin exerts a specific action on eating motivation; possibly promoting eating by increasing the incentive value of food.

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