Acute oral cannabidiolic acid methyl ester reduces depression-like behavior in two genetic animal models of depression

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Background and purpose:

Cannabidiolic acid methyl ester (HU-580) was recently shown to reduce stress-induced anxiety-like behavior in rats. The aim of this study was to examine the antidepressant effect of HU-580 in two different rat models of depression.

Experimental approach:

Using the forced swim test (FST), we evaluated the effect of HU-580 in 43 Wistar–Kyoto (WKY) and 23 Flinders Sensitive Line (FSL) adult male rats.

Key results:

1mg/kg HU-580 reduced immobility and increased swimming in WKY rats, compared to vehicle-treated controls (p<0.05). This dose exerted similar effects in FSL rats (p<0.05).

Conclusion and implications:

This is the first report of antidepressant efficacy of HU-580. These findings expand the very limited existent results, suggesting that HU-580 is a potent anxiolytic agent. Taken together with its chemical stability, HU-580 emerges as a candidate for a future antidepressant medication.

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