Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been reported to induce catalepsy-like immobilization, but the mechanism underlying this effect remains unclear. In the present study, in order to fully understand the neural circuits involved, we determined the brain sites involved in the immobilization effect in rats. THC dose-dependently induced catalepsy-like immobilization. THC-induced catalepsy-like immobilization is mechanistically different from that induced by haloperidol (HPD), because unlike HPD-induced catalepsy, animals with THC-induced catalepsy became normal again following sound and air-puff stimuli. THC-induced catalepsy was reversed by SR141716, a selective cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist. Moreover, THC-induced catalepsy was abolished by lesions in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and central amygdala (ACE) regions. On the other hand, HPD-induced catalepsy was suppressed by lesions in the caudate putamen (CP), substantia nigra (SN), globus pallidus (GP), ACE and lateral hypothalamus (LH) regions. Bilateral microinjection of THC into the NAc region induced catalepsy-like immobilization. This THC-induced catalepsy was inhibited by serotonergic drugs such as 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan (5-HTP), a 5-HT precursor, and 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeODMT), a 5-HT receptor agonist, as well as by anti-glutamatergic drugs such as MK-801 and amantadine, an N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist. THC significantly decreased 5-HT and glutamate release in the NAc, as shown by in vivo microdialysis. SR141716 reversed and MK-801 inhibited this decrease in 5-HT and glutamate release. These findings suggest that the THC-induced catalepsy is mechanistically different from HPD-induced catalepsy and that the catalepsy-like immobilization induced by THC is mediated by decreased 5-HT neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens due to the action of glutamate-containing neurons.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 24 2008|
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