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Study: Cannabinoids May Treat Depression-Like Behavior Caused by Social Isolation Stress

A study published in the journal Brain Research Bulletin has found that cannabinoids may treat depression-like behavior induced by social isolation stress.

Social Isolation Stress“Social isolation stress (SIS) paradigm is a chronic stress procedure able to induce profound behavioral and neurochemical changes in rodents and evokes depressive and anxiety-like behaviors”, begins the study’s abstract.

“Recent studies demonstrated that the cannabinoid system plays a key role in behavioral abnormalities such as depression through different pathways; however, there is no evidence showing a relation between SIS and the cannabinoid system.”

With that in mind, this particular study “investigated the role of the cannabinoid system in depressive-like behavior and anxiety-like behavior of IC animals.”

For this purpose, mice were treated with a cannabinoid receptor agonist (meant to mimic the effects of cannabinoids), and a cannabinoid receptor antagonist (the inverse).

Researchers found that “behavioral abnormality followed by SIS was mitigated” after administration of the cannabinoid receptor agonist. Also, “depressive-like effects induced by SIS were significantly increased” following administration of the antagonists.

The study concludes by stating; “Our findings suggest that the cannabinoid system is involved in depressive-like behaviors induced by SIS. We showed that activation of cannabinoid receptors (type 1 and 2) could mitigate depression-like behavior induced by SIS in a mouse model.”

Click here for the full study.

The full abstract can be found below:

Social isolation stress (SIS) paradigm is a chronic stress procedure able to induce profound behavioral and neurochemical changes in rodents and evokes depressive and anxiety-like behaviors. Recent studies demonstrated that the cannabinoid system plays a key role in behavioral abnormalities such as depression through different pathways; however, there is no evidence showing a relation between SIS and the cannabinoid system.

This study investigated the role of the cannabinoid system in depressive-like behavior and anxiety-like behavior of IC animals. For this purpose, NMRI mice were treated with WIN55, 212-2 (non-selective cannabinoid receptor agonist); and AM-251 (cannabinoid receptor type 1 antagonist) and AM-630 (cannabinoid receptor type 2 antagonist). We found that behavioral abnormality followed by SIS was mitigated after administration of WIN55, 212-2. Also, depressive-like effects induced by SIS were significantly increased following administration of AM-251 and AM-630. Co-administration of cannabinoid receptor antagonists (AM-251 and AM-630), significantly reversed the antidepressant effect of WIN55, 212-2 in IC animals.

Our findings suggest that the cannabinoid system is involved in depressive-like behaviors induced by SIS. We showed that activation of cannabinoid receptors (type 1; and 2) could mitigate depression-like behavior induced by SIS in a mouse model.

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About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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