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Neuroscience. 1998 Jul;85(2):327-30.

Self-administration of the cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN 55,212-2 in drug-naive mice.

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Bernard B. Brodie Department of Neuroscience, University of Cagliari, Italy.


Marijuana is one of the most widely used illicit recreational drugs. However, contrary to the majority of drugs abused by humans, there is a general opinion that rewarding effects are not manifested by animals. We studied a synthetic cannabinoid agonist WIN 55,212-2 using an intravenous self-administration model in drug-naive mice. The results of this study show that WIN 55,212-2 was intravenously self-administered by mice in a concentration-dependent manner according to a bell-shaped curve. Thus, self-administration of WIN 55,212-2 significantly increased, with respect to the vehicle self-administration control group, at concentrations of 0.5 and 0.1 mg/kg per injection. However, at WIN 55,212-2 concentration of 0.5 mg/kg per injection, self-administration significantly decreased. The results obtained show how WIN 55,212-2 is able to elicit both rewarding and aversive effects depending on the concentration used. Pretreatment of mice with the cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist SR 141716A (0.25 mg/kg, i.p.) completely prevented WIN 55,212-2 (0.1 mg/kg per injection) self-administration, indicating that WIN 55,212-2 rewarding effects are specifically mediated by cannabinoid CB1 receptors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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