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Canna~Fangled Abstracts

Cannabidiol attenuates the expression of conditioned place aversion induced by naloxone-precipitated morphine withdrawal through the activation of 5-HT1A receptors

By May 18, 2023May 26th, 2023No Comments

doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2023.114504. Online ahead of print.



The misuse of and addiction to opioids are serious public health problems in some countries, such as the USA. Drug addiction is a chronic and relapsing medical condition that involves motivational and memory-related processes due to the strong associations between drugs and consuming-related stimuli. These stimuli usually trigger continuous and compulsive use and are associated with relapses after periods of withdrawal. Several factors contribute to relapse, including withdrawal-induced mood changes. Therefore, drugs attenuating withdrawal-induced affective alterations could be useful alternative treatments for relapse prevention. Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychotomimetic component from the Cannabis sativa plant, has anti-anxiety and anti-stress properties and has been investigated as an alternative for the treatment of several mental disorders, including drug addiction. Here, we evaluated if CBD administered 30 min prior to test for a conditioned place aversion (CPA) would attenuate the aversion induced by morphine withdrawal precipitated by the opioid receptor antagonist naloxone in male C57BL/6 mice. We also investigated if this effect involves the activation of 5-HT1A receptors, a mechanism previously associated with CBD anti-aversive effects. As expected, morphine-treated mice spent less time exploring the compartment paired with the naloxone-induced withdrawal, indicating a CPA induced by naloxone-precipitated morphine withdrawal. This effect was not observed in animals treated with CBD, at 30 and 60 mg/kg, prior to the CPA test, indicating that CBD attenuated the expression of CPA induced by naloxone-precipitated morphine withdrawal. Pretreatment with the 5-HT1A receptor antagonist WAY100635 (0.3 mg/kg) blocked CBD effects. Our findings suggest that CBD may reduce the expression of a previously established conditioned aversion induced by morphine withdrawal by a mechanism involving the activation of 5-HT1A receptors. Thus, CBD may be a therapeutic alternative for preventing relapse to opioid addiction by decreasing withdrawal-induced negative affective changes.

Keywords: Addiction, Cannabidiol, Conditioned place aversion, Morphine withdrawal, Naloxone

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