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Evaluation of CBD effects on the molecular and behavioral changes induced by repeated treatment with MK-801

Grant number: 10/17343-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2011
Effective date (End): December 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Pharmacology - Neuropsychopharmacology
Principal researcher:Francisco Silveira Guimaraes
Grantee:Felipe Villela Gomes
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:07/03685-3 - Typical and atypical neurotransmitters in neuropsychiatric disorders, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):12/14144-1 - Evaluation of the involvement of neuronal and glial changes in the antipsychotic properties of cannabidiol, BE.EP.DR


Preclinical and clinical data suggest that cannabidiol (CBD), a major non-psychotomimetic compound from Cannabis sativa, induces antipsychotic-like effects. However, the antipsychotic properties of repeated CBD treatment have been poorly investigated. Behavioral changes induced by repeated treatment with glutamate NMDA receptor antagonists have been proposed as an animal model of schizophrenia-like symptoms. Evidence suggests that NMDA receptor hypofunction could be involved in the negative and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia. In the present study we evaluated if repeated treatment with CBD would attenuate the behavioral and molecular modifications induced by chronic administration of one of these antagonists, MK-801. Male C57BL/6J mice received daily intraperitoneal injections of MK-801 (0.1, 0.5 or 1 mg/kg) for 14, 21 or 28 days. Twenty-four hours after the last injection animals were submitted to the prepulse inhibition (PPI) test. After that, we investigated if repeated treatment with CBD (15, 30 and 60 mg/kg) would attenuate the PPI impairment induced by chronic treatment with MK-801 (1 mg/kg; 28 days). We also evaluate if the repeated CBD treatment attenuated the MK-801-induced behavioral changes in social interaction and novel object recognition tests. CBD treatment began on the 6th day after the start of MK-801 administration and continued until the end of the treatment. Immediately after the behavioral tests, the mice brains were removed and processed to evaluate the molecular changes. We measured changes on FosB/”FosB and parvalbumin expression, a marker of neuronal activity and a calcium-binding protein expressed in a subclass of GABAergic interneurons, respectively. Changes on mRNA expression of the NMDA receptor GluN1 subunit gene (GRN1) were also evaluated. Additionally, an increasing number of data have linked schizophrenia with neuroinflammatory conditions, and glial cells, such as microglia and astrocytes, have become increasingly attractive as candidates accounting for the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Besides its antipsychotic properties, CBD also induces anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. Thus, we also evaluated changes on NeuN (a neuronal marker), Iba-1 (a microglia marker) and GFAP (a astrocyte marker) expression in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), dorsal striatum and nucleus accumbens core and shell and dorsal hippocampus by immunohistochemistry. CBD effects were compared to those induced by the atypical antipsychotic clozapine. MK-801 administration at the dose of 1 mg/kg for 28 days impaired PPI responses. Chronic treatment with CBD (30 and 60 mg/kg) attenuated MK801-induced PPI impairment. CBD treatment was also able to attenuate the impairment in social interaction and NOR tests induced by MK-801 treatment. Besides behavioral disruption, MK-801 treatment increased FosB/”FosB expression and decreased parvalbumin expression in the medial prefrontal cortex. A decreased mRNA level of GRN1 in the hippocampus was also observed. Repeated MK-801 treatment also increased the number of GFAP-positive astrocytes in the mPFC and increased the percentage of Iba-1-positive microglia cells with a reactive phenotype in the mPFC and dorsal hippocampus without changing the number of Iba-1-positive cells. In addition, no change on the number of NeuN-positive cells was observed. All the molecular changes were attenuated by CBD. CBD by itself did not induce any effect. Moreover, CBD effects were similar to those induced by repeated clozapine treatment. These results indicate that repeated treatment with CBD, similar to clozapine, reverses the psychotomimetic-like effects and attenuates molecular changes observed after chronic administration of an NMDA receptor antagonist. These data reinforces the proposal that CBD may induce antipsychotic-like effects. Although the possible mechanism of action of these effects is still unknown, it may involve CBD anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. (AU)

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Scientific publications (12)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
HARTMANN, ALICE; LISBOA, SABRINA FRANCESCA; SONEGO, ANDREZA BUZOLIN; COUTINHO, DEBORA; GOMES, FELIPE VILLELA; GUIMARAES, FRANCISCO SILVEIRA. Cannabidiol attenuates aggressive behavior induced by social isolation in mice: Involvement of 5-HT1A and CB1 receptors. PROGRESS IN NEURO-PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY & BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY, v. 94, . (16/14282-6, 10/17343-0, 17/24304-0, 11/22523-0, 17/19731-6)
SONEGO, ANDREZA B.; GOMES, FELIPE V.; DEL BEL, ELAINE A.; GUIMARAES, FRANCISCO S.. Cannabidiol attenuates haloperidol-induced catalepsy and c-Fos protein expression in the dorsolateral striatum via 5-HT1A receptors in mice. Behavioural Brain Research, v. 309, p. 22-28, . (10/17343-0)
GOMES, FELIPE V.; DEL BEL, ELAINE A.; GUIMARAES, FRANCISCO S.. Cannabidiol attenuates catalepsy induced by distinct pharmacological mechanisms via 5-HT1A receptor activation in mice. PROGRESS IN NEURO-PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY & BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY, v. 46, p. 43-47, . (10/17343-0)
GOMES, FELIPE V.; ISSY, ANA CAROLINA; FERREIRA, FREDERICO R.; VIVEROS, MARIA-PAZ; DEL BEL, ELAINE A.; GUIMARAES, FRANCISCO S.. Cannabidiol Attenuates Sensorimotor Gating Disruption and Molecular Changes Induced by Chronic Antagonism of NMDA receptors in Mice. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF NEUROPSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY, v. 18, n. 5, . (10/17343-0)
ALVES, FERNANDO H. F.; CRESTANI, CARLOS C.; BUSNARDO, CRISTIANE; ANTUNES-RODRIGUES, JOSE; GOMES, FELIPE V.; RESSTEL, LEONARDO B. M.; CORREA, FERNANDO M. A.. Hypothalamic supraoptic but not paraventricular nucleus is involved in cardiovascular responses to carbachol microinjected into the bed nucleus of stria terminalis of unanesthetized rats. Brain Research, v. 1393, p. 31-43, . (10/09462-9, 09/05308-8, 10/17343-0)
GOMES, FELIPE V.; LLORENTE, RICARDO; DEL BEL, ELAINE A.; VIVEROS, MARIA-PAZ; LOPEZ-GALLARDO, MERITXELL; GUIMARAES, FRANCISCO S.. Decreased glial reactivity could be involved in the antipsychotic-like effect of cannabidiol. SCHIZOPHRENIA RESEARCH, v. 164, n. 1-3, p. 155-163, . (12/14144-1, 12/17626-7, 10/17343-0)
HOTT, SARA C.; GOMES, FELIPE V.; ULIANA, DANIELA L.; VALE, GABRIEL T.; TIRAPELLI, CARLOS R.; RESSTEL, LEONARDO B. M.. Bed nucleus of the stria terminalis NMDA receptors and nitric oxide modulate contextual fear conditioning in rats. Neuropharmacology, v. 112, n. A, SI, p. 135-143, . (11/13299-9, 09/03187-9, 10/17343-0)
GOMES, FELIPE V.; KAKIHATA, ALESSANDRA M.; SEMEDO, ANA CAROLINA G.; HOTT, SARA C.; ULIANA, DANIELA L.; GUIMARAES, FRANCISCO S.; RESSTEL, LEONARDO B. M.. D-cycloserine injected into the dorsolateral periaqueductal gray induces anxiolytic-like effects in rats. Behavioural Brain Research, v. 271, p. 374-379, . (10/17343-0)
GOMES, FELIPE V.; GUIMARAES, FRANCISCO S.; GRACE, ANTHONY A.. Effects of Pubertal Cannabinoid Administration on Attentional Set-Shifting and Dopaminergic Hyper-Responsivity in a Developmental Disruption Model of Schizophrenia. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF NEUROPSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY, v. 18, n. 2, . (10/17343-0)
GRANJEIRO, ERICA M.; GOMES, FELIPE V.; GUIMARAES, FRANCISCO S.; CORREA, FERNANDO M. A.; RESSTEL, LEONARDO B. M.. Effects of intracisternal administration of cannabidiol on the cardiovascular and behavioral responses to acute restraint stress. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, v. 99, n. 4, p. 743-748, . (07/03685-3, 10/17343-0)
GRANJEIRO, ERICA M.; GOMES, FELIPE V.; ALVES, FERNANDO H. F.; CRESTANI, CARLOS C.; CORREA, FERNANDO M. A.; RESSTEL, LEONARDO B. M.. Bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and the cardiovascular responses to chemoreflex activation. AUTONOMIC NEUROSCIENCE-BASIC & CLINICAL, v. 167, n. 1-2, p. 21-26, . (10/17343-0)
HOTT, SARA C.; GOMES, FELIPE V.; FABRI, DENISE R. S.; REIS, DANIEL G.; CRESTANI, CARLOS C.; CORREA, FERNANDO M. A.; RESSTEL, LEONARDO B. M.. Both alpha(1)- and beta(1)-adrenoceptors in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis are involved in the expression of conditioned contextual fear. British Journal of Pharmacology, v. 167, n. 1, p. 207-221, . (11/13299-9, 10/17343-0, 11/07332-3)
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
GOMES, Felipe Villela. Repeated cannabidiol treatment attenuates behavioral and molecular changes observed in an animal model of schizophrenia based on the antagonism of NMDA receptors. 2015. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (PCARP/BC) Ribeirão Preto.

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