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Mesolimbic Cannabinoids

Roberto Coccurello, Mauro Maccarrone
Palatable food can be seductive and hedonic eating can become irresistible beyond hunger and negative consequences. This is witnessed by the subtle equilibrium between eating to provide energy intake for homeostatic functions, and reward-induced overeating. In recent years, considerable efforts have been devoted to study neural circuits, and to identify potential factors responsible for the derangement of homeostatic eating toward hedonic eating and addiction-like feeding behavior. Here, we examined recent literature on "old" and "new" players accountable for reward-induced overeating and possible liability to eating addiction...
2018: Frontiers in Neuroscience
Andrea Mastinu, Marika Premoli, Giulia Ferrari-Toninelli, Simone Tambaro, Giuseppina Maccarinelli, Maurizio Memo, Sara Anna Bonini
The use of different natural and/or synthetic preparations of Cannabis sativa is associated with therapeutic strategies for many diseases. Indeed, thanks to the widespread diffusion of the cannabinoidergic system in the brain and in the peripheral districts, its stimulation, or inhibition, regulates many pathophysiological phenomena. In particular, central activation of the cannabinoidergic system modulates the limbic and mesolimbic response which leads to food craving. Moreover, cannabinoid agonists are able to reduce inflammatory response...
March 30, 2018: Hormone Molecular Biology and Clinical Investigation
Aimilia Lydia Kalafateli, Daniel Vallöf, Julia Winsa Jörnulf, Markus Heilig, Elisabet Jerlhag
Ghrelin has been attributed various physiological processes including food intake and reward regulation, through activation of the mesolimbic dopamine system. Reward modulation involves the mesolimbic dopamine system, consisting of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons targeting nucleus accumbens (NAc), a system that ghrelin activates through VTA-dependent mechanisms. In the first study, we found that systemic intraperitoneal (ip) administration of rimonabant attenuated intracerebroventricular (icv) ghrelin's ability to cause locomotor stimulation and NAc dopamine release in mice...
February 1, 2018: Physiology & Behavior
Panagiotis Perdikaris, Martha Tsarouchi, Eleni Fanarioti, Evangelos Natsaridis, Ada Mitsacos, Panagiotis Giompres
Cannabinoid administration modulates dopamine transmission via an indirect, multisynaptic mechanism that includes the activation of cannabinoid type-1 receptor (CB1R). The present study evaluated in rodents, the effects of acute and chronic (20 days) WIN55,212-2 administration, a non-selective CB1R agonist, on dopamine uptake and synthesis in the mesolimbic and nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathways and associate them to its effects on the endocannabinoid system. The effect of spontaneous withdrawal, after different abstinence periods (7 days, 20 days), was also assessed...
February 2018: Neuropharmacology
Andrea Balla, Bin Dong, Borehalli M Shilpa, Kiran Vemuri, Alexandros Makriyannis, Subhash C Pandey, Henry Sershen, Raymond F Suckow, K Yaragudri Vinod
Binge alcohol (ethanol) drinking is associated with profound adverse effects on our health and society. Rimonabant (SR141716A), a CB1 receptor inverse agonist, was previously shown to be effective for nicotine cessation and obesity. However, studies using rimonabant were discontinued as it was associated with an increased risk of depression and anxiety. In the present study, we examined the pharmacokinetics and effects of AM4113, a novel CB1 receptor neutral antagonist on binge-like ethanol drinking in C57BL/6J mice using a two-bottle choice drinking-in-dark (DID) paradigm...
March 15, 2018: Neuropharmacology
Roger Hudson, Walter Rushlow, Steven R Laviolette
Growing clinical and preclinical evidence suggests a potential role for the phytocannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) as a pharmacotherapy for various neuropsychiatric disorders. In contrast, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive component in cannabis, is associated with acute and neurodevelopmental propsychotic side effects through its interaction with central cannabinoid type 1 receptors (CB1Rs). CB1R stimulation in the ventral hippocampus (VHipp) potentiates affective memory formation through inputs to the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system, thereby altering emotional salience attribution...
February 2018: Psychopharmacology
Cecilia Kramar, Michael Loureiro, Justine Renard, Steven R Laviolette
Introduction: The GPR55 receptor has been identified as an atypical cannabinoid receptor and is implicated in various physiological processes. However, its functional role in the central nervous system is not currently understood. The presence of GPR55 receptor in neural regions such as the ventral hippocampus (vHipp), which is critical for cognition, recognition memory, and affective processing, led us to hypothesize that intra-vHipp GPR55 transmission may modulate mesolimbic activity states and related behavioral phenomena...
2017: Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research
J M Wenzel, J F Cheer
The endocannabinoid system (eCB) is implicated in the mediation of both reward and reinforcement. This is evidenced by the ability of exogenous cannabinoid drugs to produce hedonia and maintain self-administration in both human and animal subjects. eCBs similarly facilitate behaviors motivated by reward through interaction with the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) and endogenous opioid systems. Indeed, eCB signaling in the ventral tegmental area stimulates activation of midbrain DA cells and promotes DA release in terminal regions such as the nucleus accumbens (NAc)...
January 2018: Neuropsychopharmacology: Official Publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Mason M Silveira, Jonathon C Arnold, Steven R Laviolette, Cecilia J Hillard, Marta Celorrio, María S Aymerich, Wendy K Adams
Public opinion surrounding the recreational use and therapeutic potential of cannabis is shifting. This review describes new work examining the behavioural and neural effects of cannabis and the endocannabinoid system, highlighting key regions within corticolimbic brain circuits. First, we consider the role of human genetic factors and cannabis strain chemotypic differences in contributing to interindividual variation in the response to cannabinoids, such as THC, and review studies demonstrating that THC-induced impairments in decision-making processes are mediated by actions at prefrontal CB1 receptors...
May 2017: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Linda Patia Spear
Studies using animal models of adolescent exposure to alcohol, nicotine, cannabinoids, and the stimulants cocaine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethampethamine and methamphetamine have revealed a variety of persisting neural and behavioral consequences. Affected brain regions often include mesolimbic and prefrontal regions undergoing notable ontogenetic change during adolescence, although it is unclear whether this represents areas of specific vulnerability or particular scrutiny to date. Persisting alterations in forebrain systems critical for modulating reward, socioemotional processing and cognition have emerged, including apparent induction of a hyper-dopaminergic state with some drugs and/or attenuations in neurons expressing cholinergic markers...
November 2016: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
J Ceccarini, N Weltens, H G Ly, J Tack, L Van Oudenhove, K Van Laere
Although of great public health relevance, the mechanisms underlying disordered eating behavior and body weight regulation remain insufficiently understood. Compelling preclinical evidence corroborates a critical role of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the central regulation of appetite and food intake. However, in vivo human evidence on ECS functioning in brain circuits involved in food intake regulation as well as its relationship with body weight is lacking, both in health and disease. Here, we measured cannabinoid 1 receptor (CB1R) availability using positron emission tomography (PET) with [(18)F]MK-9470 in 54 patients with food intake disorders (FID) covering a wide body mass index (BMI) range (anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, functional dyspepsia with weight loss and obesity; BMI range=12...
July 12, 2016: Translational Psychiatry
Christopher Norris, Michael Loureiro, Cecilia Kramar, Jordan Zunder, Justine Renard, Walter Rushlow, Steven R Laviolette
Emerging evidence suggests that the largest phytochemical component of cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD), may possess pharmacotherapeutic properties in the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders. CBD has been reported to functionally interact with both the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) and serotonergic (5-HT) receptor systems. However, the underlying mechanisms by which CBD may modulate emotional processing are not currently understood. Using a combination of in vivo electrophysiological recording and fear conditioning in rats, the present study aimed to characterize the behavioral, neuroanatomical, and pharmacological effects of CBD within the mesolimbic pathway, and its possible functional interactions with 5-HT and DAergic transmission...
November 2016: Neuropsychopharmacology: Official Publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Tasha Ahmad, Ninglei Sun, Danika Lyons, Steven R Laviolette
Functional connections between the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) are involved critically in opiate-reward processing. In the BLA, inhibitory GABAergic substrates are inhibited by cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1R) activation and can modulate BLA projections to various limbic regions, including the NAc. However, the potential role of CB1R transmission in the regulation of opiate-related memory formation via the BLA → NAc circuit is not understood. Using an unbiased conditioned place preference paradigm in rats, we examined the effects of intra-BLA CB1R modulation by either direct pharmacological activation or blockade of CB1R transmission...
May 27, 2016: Addiction Biology
Benoit Forget, Mihail Guranda, Islam Gamaleddin, Steven R Goldberg, Bernard Le Foll
RATIONALE: The endocannabinoid system is composed of endocannabinoids (such as anandamide), their target receptors (CB1 and CB2 receptors, CB1Rs and CB2Rs), the enzymes that degrade them (fatty-acid-amide-hydrolase (FAAH) for anandamide), and an endocannabinoid transporter. FAAH inhibition has been recently identified as having a critical involvement in behaviors related to nicotine addiction and has been shown to reduce the effect of nicotine on the mesolimbic dopaminergic system via CB1R and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα)...
May 2016: Psychopharmacology
Andrea Ossato, Isabella Canazza, Claudio Trapella, Fabrizio Vincenzi, Maria Antonietta De Luca, Claudia Rimondo, Katia Varani, Pier Andrea Borea, Giovanni Serpelloni, Matteo Marti
JWH-250 and JWH-073 are two synthetic cannabinoid agonists with nanomolar affinity at CB1 and CB2 receptors. They are illegally marketed within "herbal blend" for theirs psychoactive effects greater than those produced by Cannabis. Recently, we analyzed an "herbal" preparation containing a mixture of both JWH-250 and JWH-073. The present study was aimed at investigating the in vitro and in vivo pharmacological activity of JWH-250 and JWH-073 in male CD-1 mice. In vitro competition binding experiments performed on mouse and human CB1 and CB2 receptors revealed a nanomolar affinity and potency of the JWH-250 and JWH-073...
June 3, 2016: Progress in Neuro-psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry
Michael Loureiro, Cecilia Kramar, Justine Renard, Laura G Rosen, Steven R Laviolette
BACKGROUND: Cannabinoid receptor transmission strongly influences emotional processing, and disturbances in cannabinoid signaling are associated with various neuropsychiatric disorders. The mammalian ventral hippocampus (vHipp) is a critical neural region controlling mesolimbic activity via glutamatergic projections to the nucleus accumbens. Furthermore, vHipp abnormalities are linked to schizophrenia-related psychopathology. Nevertheless, the mechanisms by which intra-vHipp cannabinoid signaling may modulate mesolimbic activity states and emotional processing are not currently understood...
August 1, 2016: Biological Psychiatry
Maria Scherma, Christian Dessì, Anna Lisa Muntoni, Salvatore Lecca, Valentina Satta, Antonio Luchicchi, Marco Pistis, Leigh V Panlilio, Liana Fattore, Steven R Goldberg, Walter Fratta, Paola Fadda
Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug worldwide, and use is typically initiated during adolescence. The endocannabinoid system has an important role in formation of the nervous system, from very early development through adolescence. Cannabis exposure during this vulnerable period might lead to neurobiological changes that affect adult brain functions and increase the risk of cannabis use disorder. The aim of this study was to investigate whether exposure to Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in adolescent rats might enhance reinforcing effects of cannabinoids in adulthood...
April 2016: Neuropsychopharmacology: Official Publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Sabine C Herpertz, Katja Bertsch
Borderline personality disorder is characterized by three domains of dysfunction: affect dysregulation, behavioral dyscontrol, and interpersonal hypersensitivity. Interpersonal hypersensitivity is associated with a (pre)attentive bias toward negative social information and, on the level of the brain, enhanced bottom-up emotion generation, while affect dysregulation results from abnormal top-down processes. Additionally, the problems of patients with borderline personality disorder in interpersonal functioning appear to be related to alterations in the (social) reward and empathy networks...
September 1, 2015: American Journal of Psychiatry
Mohammad-Reza Zarrindast, Fatemeh Khakpai
Anxiety is an unpleasant physiological state in which an overreaction to a situation occurs. It has been suggested that different brain regions are involved in the modulation and expression of anxiety, including the amygdala, hippocampus, and frontal cortex. Dysfunction of neurotransmitters and their receptors can lead to many mood disorders like anxiety. There are evidences that dopamine plays an important role in anxiety modulation in different parts of the brain. Some evidence has shown that the mesolimbic, mesocortical and nigrostriatal dopaminergic system are involved in anxiety...
September 2015: Archives of Iranian Medicine
Anna Zdanowicz, Wieńczysław Kaźmierczak, Piotr Wierzbiński
Excessive consumption and obesity do not always have to be strictly pathological. The adjustment of food intake as well as the pleasure of eating are the results of the circulation of neurotransmitters, hormones and glucocorticoids which have an ability to regulate the activity of many receptors connected with G protein, including endocannabinoid receptors. The key role of endocannabinoids in pathogenesis of obesity is their overproduction by adipose cells. Endocannabinoids (eCBs) affect CB1 receptors and increase hunger, willingness to intake food, decrease peristalsis and delay stomach emptying...
July 2015: Polski Merkuriusz Lekarski: Organ Polskiego Towarzystwa Lekarskiego
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