Behavioural brain research

Antidepressant-like effects of the cannabinoid receptor ligands in the forced swimming test in mice: mechanism of action and possible interactions with cholinergic system.

PMID 25660201


The purpose of the experiments was to explore the role of the endocannabinoid system, through cannabinoid (CB) receptor ligands, nicotine and scopolamine, in the depression-related responses using the forced swimming test (FST) in mice. Our results revealed that acute injection of oleamide (10 and 20 mg/kg), a CB1 receptor agonist, caused antidepressant-like effect in the FST, while AM 251 (0.25-3 mg/kg), a CB1 receptor antagonist, did not provoke any effect in this test. Moreover, acute administration of both CB2 receptor agonist, JWH 133 (0.5 and 1 mg/kg) and CB2 receptor antagonist, AM 630 (0.5 mg/kg), exhibited antidepressant action. Antidepressant effects of oleamide and JWH 133 were attenuated by acute injection of both non-effective dose of AM 251, as well as AM 630. Among the all CB compounds used, only the combination of non-effective dose of oleamide (2.5 mg/kg) with non-effective dose of nicotine (0.5 mg/kg) caused an antidepressant effect. However, none of the CB receptor ligands, had influence on the antidepressant effects provoked by nicotine (0.2 mg/kg) injection. In turn, the combination of non-effective dose of oleamide (2.5 mg/kg); JWH (2 mg/kg) or AM 630 (2 mg/kg), but not of AM 251 (0.25 mg/kg), with non-effective dose of scopolamine (0.1 mg/kg), exhibited antidepressant properties. Indeed, all of the CB compounds used, intensified the antidepressant-like effects induced by an acute injection of scopolamine (0.3 mg/kg). Our results provide clear evidence that the endocannabinoid system participates in the depression-related behavior and through interactions with cholinergic system modulate these kind of responses.