Cannabinoids prevent depressive-like symptoms and alterations in BDNF expression in a rat model of PTSD

Or Burstein, Noa Shoshan, Ravid Doron, Irit Akirav

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating condition highly comorbid with depression. The endocannabinoid (eCB) system and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are suggestively involved in both disorders. We examined whether cannabinoids can prevent the long-term depressive-like symptoms induced by exposure to the shock and situational reminders (SRs) model of PTSD. The CB1/2 receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 (0.5 mg/kg; i.p.), the fatty acid hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor URB597 (0.3 mg/kg, i.p.) or vehicle were administered 2 h after severe shock. Cannabinoids prevented the shock/SRs-induced alterations in social recognition memory, locomotion, passive coping, anxiety-like behavior, anhedonia, fear retrieval, fear extinction and startle response as well as the decrease in BDNF levels in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC). Furthermore, significant correlations were found between depressive-like behaviors and BDNF levels in the brain. The findings suggest that cannabinoids may prevent both depressive- and PTSD-like symptoms following exposure to severe stress and that alterations in BDNF levels in the brains' fear circuit are involved in these effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-139
Number of pages11
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Volume84
DOIs
StatePublished - 8 Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Inc.

Keywords

  • BDNF
  • Cannabinoids
  • Depression
  • Inhibitory avoidance
  • PTSD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology

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