Antidepressant-like effects of the cannabinoid receptor ligands in the forced swimming test in mice: Mechanism of action and possible interactions with cholinergic system

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The purpose of the experiments was to explore the role of the endocannabinoid system, through cannabinoid (CB) receptor ligands, nicotine and scopolamine, in the depression-related responses using the forced swimming test (FST) in mice.

Our results revealed that acute injection of oleamide (10 and 20 mg/kg), a CB1 receptor agonist, caused antidepressant-like effect in the FST, while AM 251 (0.25-3 mg/kg), a CB1 receptor antagonist, did not provoke any effect in this test. Moreover, acute administration of both CB2 receptor agonist, JWH 133 (0.5 and 1 mg/kg) and CB2 receptor antagonist, AM 630 (0.5 mg/kg), exhibited antidepressant action.

Antidepressant effects of oleamide and JWH 133 were attenuated by acute injection of both non-effective dose of AM 251, as well as AM 630.

Among the all CB compounds used, only the combination of non-effective dose of oleamide (2.5 mg/kg) with non-effective dose of nicotine (0.5 mg/kg) caused an antidepressant effect. However, none of the CB receptor ligands, had influence on the antidepressant effects provoked by nicotine (0.2 mg/kg) injection. In turn, the combination of non-effective dose of oleamide (2.5 mg/kg); JWH (2 mg/kg) or AM 630 (2 mg/kg), but not of AM 251 (0.25 mg/kg), with non-effective dose of scopolamine (0.1 mg/kg), exhibited antidepressant properties. Indeed, all of the CB compounds used, intensified the antidepressant-like effects induced by an acute injection of scopolamine (0.3 mg/kg).

Our results provide clear evidence that the endocannabinoid system participates in the depression-related behavior and through interactions with cholinergic system modulate these kind of responses.

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