• Journal Article

Evaluation of WIN 55,212-2 self-administration in rats as a potential cannabinoid abuse liability model

Citation

Lefever, T., Marusich, J., Antonazzo, K. R., & Wiley, J. (2014). Evaluation of WIN 55,212-2 self-administration in rats as a potential cannabinoid abuse liability model. Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior, 118, 30-35. DOI: 10.1016/j.pbb.2014.01.002

Abstract

Because Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been a false negative in rat intravenous self-administration procedures, the evaluation of the abuse potential of candidate cannabinoid medications has proved difficult. One lab group has successfully trained self-administration of the aminoalkylindole WIN55,212-2 in rats; however, their results have not been independently replicated. The purpose of this study was to extend their model by using a within-subjects design, with the goal of establishing a robust method suitable for substitution testing of other cannabinoids. Male Long-Evans rats were trained to self-administer WIN55,212-2 (0.01mg/kg/infusion) on a fixed ratio 3 schedule. Dose-effect curves for WIN55,212-2 were determined, followed by vehicle substitution and a dose-effect curve with THC. WIN55,212-2 self-administration was acquired; however, substitution with THC did not maintain responding above vehicle levels. Dose-dependent attenuation by rimonabant confirmed CB1 receptor mediation of WIN55,212-2's reinforcing effects. Vehicle substitution resulted in a session-dependent decrease in response (i.e., extinction). While this study provides systematic replication of previous studies, lack of substitution with THC is problematic and suggests that WIN55,212-2 self-administration may be of limited usefulness as a screening tool for detection of the reinforcing effects of potential cannabinoid medications. Clarification of underlying factors responsible for failure of THC to maintain self-administration in cannabinoid-trained rats is needed