Aging is associated with changes in cognitive and emotional function. Cannabidiol (CBD) has been reported to attenuate stress and anxiety in human and animal studies. In this study, we aimed to assess the therapeutic potential of CBD among middle-aged female rats exposed to social isolation (SI) and the potential involvement of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in these effects. Thirteen-month-old female rats were group-housed (GH) or exposed to social isolation (SI) and treated with vehicle or CBD (10 mg/kg). CBD restored the SI-induced immobility in the forced swim test and the SI-induced decrease in the expression of BDNF protein levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). CBD also increased the time that rats spent in the center in an open field, improved spatial training, and increased BDNF expression in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and basolateral amygdala (BLA). BDNF expression was found to be correlated with an antidepressant (in the NAc) and an anxiolytic (in the mPFC, BLA, NAc) phenotype, and with learning improvement in the PFC. Together, our results suggest that CBD may serve as a beneficial agent for wellbeing in old age and may help with age-related cognitive decline.
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- social isolation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Inorganic Chemistry
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry