Synthetic indole-derived cannabinoids, originally developed to probe cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors, have become widely abused for their marijuana-like intoxicating properties. The present study examined the effects of indole-derived cannabinoids in rats trained to discriminate Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta9-THC) from vehicle. In addition, the effects of Delta9-THC in rats trained to discriminate JWH-018 from vehicle were assessed. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained to discriminate 3mg/kg Delta9-THC or 0.3mg/kg JWH-018 from vehicle. JWH-018, JWH-073, and JWH-210 fully substituted in Delta9-THC-trained rats and Delta9-THC substituted in JWH-018-trained rats. In contrast, JWH-320, an indole-derived cannabinoid without affinity for CB1 receptors, failed to substitute for Delta9-THC. Pre-treatment with 1mg/kg rimonabant significantly reduced responding on the JWH-018-associated lever in JWH-018-trained rats. These results support the conclusion that the interoceptive effects of Delta9-THC and synthetic indole-derived cannabinoids show a large degree of overlap, which is predictive of their use for their marijuana-like intoxicating properties. Characterization of the extent of pharmacological differences among structural classes of cannabinoids, and determination of their mechanisms remain important goals
Cross-substitution of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and JWH-018 in drug discrimination in rats
Wiley, J., Lefever, T., Cortes, R., & Marusich, J. (2014). Cross-substitution of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and JWH-018 in drug discrimination in rats. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 124, 123-128. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pbb.2014.05.016
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