, Volume 204, Issue 2, pp 203-211
Date: 16 Jan 2009

Effects of cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant in consolidation and reconsolidation of methamphetamine reward memory in mice

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Previous studies have shown that cannabinoid CB1 receptors play an important role in specific aspects of learning and memory, yet there has been no systematic study focusing on the involvement of cannabinoid CB1 receptors in methamphetamine-related reward memory.


The purpose of this study was to examine whether rimonabant, a cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist, would disrupt the consolidation and reconsolidation of methamphetamine-related reward memory, using conditioned place preference paradigm (CPP).

Materials and methods

Separate groups of male Kunming mice were trained to acquire methamphetamine CPP. Vehicle or rimonabant (1 mg/kg or 3 mg/kg, i.p.) was given at different time points: immediately after each CPP training session (consolidation), 30 min before the reactivation of CPP (retrieval), or immediately after the reactivation of CPP (reconsolidation). Methamphetamine CPP was retested 24 h and 1 and 2 weeks after rimonabant administration.


Rimonabant at doses of 1 and 3 mg/kg significantly inhibited the consolidation of methamphetamine CPP. Only high-dose rimonabant (3 mg/kg) disrupted the retrieval and reconsolidation of methamphetamine CPP. Rimonabant had no effect on methamphetamine CPP in the absence of methamphetamine CPP reactivation.


Our findings suggest that cannabinoid CB1 receptors play a major role in methamphetamine reward memory, and cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonists may be a potential pharmacotherapy to manage relapse associated with drug-reward-related memory.