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Neuropharmacology. 1986 Apr;25(4):441-6.

Prolonged CNS hyperexcitability in mice after a single exposure to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.


A single exposure to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) resulted in a "rebound" hyperexcitability in the CNS in mice, which was assessed in terms of the susceptibility of the CNS to electrically-induced convulsions. The magnitude of the hyperexcitability was dose-related (25-150 mg/kg, i.p.), as measured 24 hr after treatment. The time-course study of the effect indicated a peak-effect at 24 hr after administration of the drug, with a duration of the effect for as long as 196 hr. The time course of the rebound hyperexcitability to THC was compared to that for phenobarbital, which peaked at 48 hr after administration of the drug and returned to the control value by 96 hr. Tolerance developed rapidly to the motor-toxic effect of THC, but after 23 days of daily treatment there was no evidence of tolerance to the rebound hyperexcitability. The functional significance of the hyperexcitable state was assessed in two tests; electrical kindling to minimal convulsions was enhanced, even when the kindling procedure was initiated 120 hr after exposure to the drug; and the anticonvulsant activity of phenytoin was blocked when mice were treated with the anticonvulsant 96 hr after a single exposure to THC. The results suggest that the rebound response from a single exposure to THC represents a functionally significant prolonged increase in excitability of the CNS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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