Cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptor agonism reduces lithium chloride-induced vomiting inSuncus murinusand nausea-induced conditioned gaping in rats

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We aimed to investigate the potential anti-emetic and anti-nausea properties of targeting the cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptor. We investigated the effect of the selective CB2 agonist, HU-308, on lithium chloride- (LiCl) induced vomiting in Suncus murinus (S. murinus) and conditioned gaping (nausea-induced behaviour) in rats. Additionally, we determined whether these effects could be prevented by pretreatment with AM630 (a selective CB2 receptor antagonist/inverse agonist). In S. murinus, HU-308 (2.5, 5 mg/kg, i.p.) reduced, but did not completely block, LiCl-induced vomiting; an effect that was prevented with AM630. In rats, HU-308 (5 mg/kg, i.p.) suppressed, but did not completely block, LiCl-induced conditioned gaping to a flavour; an effect that was prevented by AM630. These findings are the first to demonstrate the ability of a selective CB2 receptor agonist to reduce nausea in animal models, indicating that targeting the CB2 receptor may be an effective strategy, devoid of psychoactive effects, for managing toxin-induced nausea and vomiting.

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