Δ 9 -Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is known to have various pharmacological effects mediated through activation of cannabinoid CB 1 and CB 2 receptors in rodents. In adult rats, 22- and 50-kHz ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) serve as an effective communication system and as indicators of negative and positive states, respectively. The present study was performed to determine whether THC affects USVs in adult rats, and to determine the roles of cannabinoid receptors in these effects. THC (1, 3 mg/kg) was administered intraperitoneally to adult male Wistar rats 60 min before measurement of USVs. The CB 1 antagonist, SR141716 (3, 6 mg/kg), or CB 2 antagonist, AM630 (1, 10 mg/kg), was administered intraperitoneally 10 min before THC. USVs were measured during a 5-minute period without air puff stimulus or with air puff stimulus. THC did not affect 22- or 50-kHz USVs without air puff stimulus. On the other hand, THC significantly increased the number of 22-kHz USVs, but not 50-kHz USVs, after air puff stimulus. Moreover, SR141716 at 6 mg/kg, but not AM630 at either dose, inhibited the increase in number of 22-kHz USVs induced by THC after air puff stimulus. These results suggest that THC induced changes in sensitivity to aversive air puff stimuli through CB 1 receptors, and as a result increased emission of 22-kHz USVs in rats.
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