Antinociceptive effects of JWH015 in female and male rats

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Despite greater chronic pain prevalence in females compared with males, and the analgesic potential of cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) agonists, CB2 agonists have rarely been tested in females. The aim of the present study was to compare the antinociceptive effects of a CB2-preferring agonist, (2-methyl-1-propyl-1H-indol-3-yl)-1-naphthalenylmethanone (JWH015), in female and male rats against acute pain and persistent inflammatory pain. JWH015 (5–20 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) produced dose-dependent and time-dependent increases in latency to respond on the tail withdrawal and paw pressure tests that did not differ statistically between the sexes. JWH015 dose-dependently decreased locomotor activity in both sexes, but was more potent in females than males. JWH015 produced little catalepsy in either sex. In females, the antinociceptive effects of JWH015 against acute pain were blocked by rimonabant and SR144528, whereas locomotor suppression was antagonized by rimonabant. When administered 3 days after intraplantar injection of complete Freund’s adjuvant, JWH015 produced a significantly greater antiallodynic effect in females at the highest dose tested (10 mg/kg, intraperitoneally). Antiallodynic effects of JWH015 were antagonized by rimonabant and SR144528 in both sexes. These studies indicate that systemically administered JWH015 produced antinociception that was both CB1 and CB2 receptor-mediated in both sexes. Unlike [INCREMENT]-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and other nonselective cannabinoid agonists, the CB2-preferring agonist JWH015 may produce more equivalent antinociception in females and males.

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