Psychopharmacology

, Volume 180, Issue 2, pp 286–293

The cannabinoid CB1 antagonist AM 251 produces food avoidance and behaviors associated with nausea but does not impair feeding efficiency in rats

  • P. J. McLaughlin
  • K. M. Winston
  • C. L. Limebeer
  • L. A. Parker
  • A. Makriyannis
  • J. D. Salamone
Original Investigation

DOI: 10.1007/s00213-005-2171-0

Cite this article as:
McLaughlin, P.J., Winston, K.M., Limebeer, C.L. et al. Psychopharmacology (2005) 180: 286. doi:10.1007/s00213-005-2171-0

Abstract

Rationale

A growing body of evidence suggests that cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonists have potential therapeutic utility as appetite suppressants. However, the specific mechanisms underlying the reduction in food intake produced by these drugs are not well understood.

Objective

Considering the known antiemetic and motor-suppressive effects of CB1 agonists, the present studies were conducted to determine if the reductions in food intake induced by the CB1 antagonist AM 251 could result from nausea or impairments in intake-related motor control, rather than solely from appetite suppression.

Methods

Three experiments were conducted to examine the effects of AM 251 (2.0, 4.0, or 8.0 mg/kg or vehicle) on detailed parameters of food intake, on the development of conditioned taste avoidance, and on taste reactivity.

Results

In the first experiment, acute administration of AM 251 dose-dependently decreased food intake; nevertheless, feeding rate (grams consumed per time spent eating) and food handling were unaffected, which suggests that food intake was not reduced because of severe motor impairments. In the second experiment, AM 251 dose-dependently reduced intake of a flavor with which it had previously been associated, indicating that conditioned taste avoidance had developed. Lastly, AM 251 was found to induce conditioned rejection reactions in a dose-dependent manner.

Conclusions

The CB1 antagonist AM 251 may reduce food intake in part by inducing nausea or malaise, but not because of incoordination or motor slowing related to feeding.

Keywords

Anandamide Appetite Inverse agonist SR 141716A Nausea Taste reactivity Conditioned rejection 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. J. McLaughlin
    • 1
  • K. M. Winston
    • 1
  • C. L. Limebeer
    • 1
  • L. A. Parker
    • 1
  • A. Makriyannis
    • 2
  • J. D. Salamone
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  2. 2.School of PharmacyUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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