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Neuropharmacology. 2012 Sep;63(4):565-74. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2012.04.036. Epub 2012 May 15.

Cannabinoid receptors mediate methamphetamine induction of high frequency gamma oscillations in the nucleus accumbens.

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47 New Scotland Avenue, Center for Neuropharmacology and Neuroscience, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY 12208, USA.


Patients suffering from amphetamine-induced psychosis display repetitive behaviors, partially alleviated by antipsychotics, which are reminiscent of rodent stereotypies. Due to recent evidence implicating endocannabinoid involvement in brain disorders, including psychosis, we studied the effects of endocannabinoid signaling on neuronal oscillations of rats exhibiting methamphetamine stereotypy. Neuronal network oscillations were recorded with multiple single electrode arrays aimed at the nucleus accumbens of freely-moving rats. During the experiments, animals were dosed intravenously with the CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant (0.3 mg/kg) or vehicle followed by an ascending dose regimen of methamphetamine (0.01, 0.1, 1, and 3 mg/kg; cumulative dosing). The effects of drug administration on stereotypy and local gamma oscillations were evaluated. Methamphetamine treatment significantly increased high frequency gamma oscillations (∼80 Hz). Entrainment of a subpopulation of nucleus accumbens neurons to high frequency gamma was associated with stereotypy encoding in putative fast-spiking interneurons, but not in putative medium spiny neurons. The observed ability of methamphetamine to induce both stereotypy and high frequency gamma power was potently disrupted following CB1 receptor blockade. The present data suggest that CB1 receptor-dependent mechanisms are recruited by methamphetamine to modify striatal interneuron oscillations that accompany changes in psychomotor state, further supporting the link between endocannabinoids and schizophrenia spectrum disorders.

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