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.”

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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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