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Behav Brain Res. 2016 Mar 1;300:65-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2015.12.005. Epub 2015 Dec 9.

Sex-dependence of anxiety-like behavior in cannabinoid receptor 1 (Cnr1) knockout mice.

Author information

1
Department of Behavioral Neuroscience and Psychiatric Disorders, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30329, United States. Electronic address: mallorybowers@gmail.com.
2
Department of Behavioral Neuroscience and Psychiatric Disorders, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30329, United States; Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30329, United States.

Abstract

Epidemiological data suggest women are at increased risk for developing anxiety and depression, although the mechanisms for this sex/gender difference remain incompletely understood. Pre-clinical studies have begun to investigate sex-dependent emotional learning and behavior in rodents, particularly as it relates to psychopathology; however, information about how gonadal hormones interact with the central nervous system is limited. We observe greater anxiety-like behavior in male mice with global knockout of the cannabinoid 1 receptor (Cnr1) compared to male, wild-type controls as measured by percent open arm entries on an elevated plus maze test. A similar increase in anxiety-like behavior, however, is not observed when comparing female Cnr1 knockouts to female wild-type subjects. Although, ovariectomy in female mice did not reverse this effect, both male and female adult mice with normative development were sensitive to Cnr1 antagonist-mediated increases in anxiety-like behavior. Together, these data support an interaction between sex, potentially mediated by gonadal hormones, and the endocannabinoid system at an early stage of development that is critical for establishing adult anxiety-like behavior.

KEYWORDS:

Anxiety; Cannabinoid 1 receptor; Development; Estrogen; Gender; Sex

PMID:
26684509
PMCID:
PMC4724469
[Available on 2017-03-01]
DOI:
10.1016/j.bbr.2015.12.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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