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Neuropsychopharmacology. 2017 Jun;42(7):1447-1457. doi: 10.1038/npp.2017.40. Epub 2017 Feb 23.

Improved Social Interaction, Recognition and Working Memory with Cannabidiol Treatment in a Prenatal Infection (poly I:C) Rat Model.

Author information

1
Centre for Translational Neuroscience, School of Medicine, Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, and Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
2
Centre for Medical and Molecular Biosciences, Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
3
School of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences and Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
4
Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, Wollongong, NSW, Australia.

Abstract

Neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia are associated with cognitive impairment, including learning, memory and attention deficits. Antipsychotic drugs are limited in their efficacy to improve cognition; therefore, new therapeutic agents are required. Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-intoxicating component of cannabis, has anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and antipsychotic-like properties; however, its ability to improve the cognitive deficits of schizophrenia remains unclear. Using a prenatal infection model, we examined the effect of chronic CBD treatment on cognition and social interaction. Time-mated pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats (n=16) were administered polyinosinic-polycytidilic acid (poly I:C) (POLY; 4 mg/kg) or saline (CONT) at gestation day 15. Male offspring (PN56) were injected twice daily with 10 mg/kg CBD (CONT+CBD, POLY+CBD; n=12 per group) or vehicle (VEH; CONT+VEH, POLY+VEH; n=12 per group) for 3 weeks. Body weight, food and water intake was measured weekly. The Novel Object Recognition and rewarded T-maze alternation tests assessed recognition and working memory, respectively, and the social interaction test assessed sociability. POLY+VEH offspring exhibited impaired recognition and working memory, and reduced social interaction compared to CONT+VEH offspring (p<0.01). CBD treatment significantly improved recognition, working memory and social interaction deficits in the poly I:C model (p<0.01 vs POLY+VEH), did not affect total body weight gain, food or water intake, and had no effect in control animals (all p>0.05). In conclusion, chronic CBD administration can attenuate the social interaction and cognitive deficits induced by prenatal poly I:C infection. These novel findings present interesting implications for potential use of CBD in treating the cognitive deficits and social withdrawal of schizophrenia.

PMID:
28230072
PMCID:
PMC5436124
DOI:
10.1038/npp.2017.40
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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