Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid with great therapeutic potential in diverse psychiatric disorders; however, its antidepressant potential has been mainly ascertained in adult rats.
To compare the antidepressant-like response induced by cannabidiol in adolescent and adult rats and the possible parallel modulation of hippocampal neurogenesis.
Male Sprague-Dawley rats were repeatedly treated with cannabidiol (3, 10, and 30 mg/kg) or vehicle (1 mL/kg) during adolescence (postnatal days, PND 27-33) or adulthood (PND 141-147) and exposed to 3 consecutive tests (forced swim, open field, two-bottle choice) that quantified behavioral despair, anxiety, and sucrose intake respectively.
Cannabidiol induced differential effects depending on the age and dose administered, with a decreased sensitivity observed in adolescent rats: (1) cannabidiol (30 mg/kg) decreased body weight only in adult rats; (2) cannabidiol ameliorated behavioral despair in adolescent and adult rats, but with a different dose sensitivity (10 vs. 30 mg/kg), and with a different extent (2 vs. 21 days post-treatment); (3) cannabidiol did not modulate anxiety-like behavior at any dose tested in adolescent or adult rats; and (4) cannabidiol increased sucrose intake in adult rats.
Our findings support the notion that cannabidiol exerts antidepressant- and anorexigenic-like effects in adult rats and demonstrate a decreased potential when administered in adolescent rats. Moreover, since cannabidiol did not modulate hippocampal neurogenesis (cell proliferation and early neuronal survival) in adolescent or adult rats, the results revealed potential antidepressant-like effects induced by cannabidiol without the need of regulating hippocampal neurogenesis.
KEYWORDS: Age, Antidepressant, Cannabidiol, Hippocampus, Neurogenesis, Rat
- PMID: 32086540
- DOI: 10.1007/s00213-020-05481-4