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Life Sci. 1996;58(25):PL365-72.

Genetic differences in delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol-induced facilitation of brain stimulation reward as measured by a rate-frequency curve-shift electrical brain stimulation paradigm in three different rat strains.

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Department of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, NY 10461-1602, USA.


Lewis, Fischer 344, and Sprague-Dawley rats were implanted with electrodes in the medial forebrain bundle and trained to lever press for brain stimulation reward using a rate-frequency curve-shift electrical brain stimulation paradigm based on a series of 16 pulse frequencies ranging from 25 to 141 Hz in descending order. Once reward thresholds were stable, rats were given 1.0 mg/kg delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta 9-THC), the psychoactive constituent in marijuana and hashish, or vehicle, by intraperitoneal injection. Lewis rats showed the most pronounced delta 9-THC-induced enhancement of brain reward functions. Sprague-Dawley rats showed an enhancement of brain reward functions that was approximately half that seen in Lewis rats. Brain reward functions in Fischer 344 rats were unaffected by delta 9-THC at the dose tested. These results are consistent with previous work showing Lewis rats to be highly sensitive to the rewarding properties of a variety of drugs of abuse, including opiates, cocaine, and alcohol, while Fischer 344 rats are relatively less sensitive. They extend such previous findings to cannabinoids, and further suggest that genetic variations to other cannabinoid effects may also exist.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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