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Cannabidiol ameliorates the anxiogenic and compulsive-like behaviors induced by chronic consumption of a high-carbohydrate diet in male mice

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The excessive consumption of ultra-processed foods and the development of obesity has been associated with several comorbidities, including psychiatric disorders. Excess fat tissue promotes a low-intensity inflammatory state, mainly in the white tissue, which is essential in developing metabolic alterations and influences brain homeostasis. In this scenario, Cannabidiol (CBD), a compound from Cannabis sativa, has presented anxiolytic and anti-inflammatory effects in murine models. This study verified whether CBD treatment would ameliorate the compulsive-like and anxiety-like behaviors observed after mice’s chronic consumption of a high-refined carbohydrate (HC) diet. BALB/c male mice received a control or HC diet for 12 weeks followed by vehicle and CBD (30 mg/Kg, i.p.) administration, and their behavior was evaluated in the Marble Burying test (MB) and Novel Suppressing Feeding test (NSF). The sub-chronic, but not acute, treatment with CBD attenuated the compulsive-like and anxiogenic-like behavior induced by the HC diet. Our data reinforced the harmful effects of the HC diet’s chronic consumption on compulsive and anxious behaviors and the potential of CBD as a drug treatment for psychiatric disorders associated with obesity.

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Data availability

The datasets generated during and analyzed during the current study are not publicly available due our group did not create a public repository yet but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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The authors thank Araujo D. for the technical support.


FAM and AVMF are research productivity fellow from Conselho Nacional Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq). This study was financed in part by Fundação de Amparo Pesquisa Estado de São Paulo FAPESP (2017/24304-0) and by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior-Brasil (CAPES)-Finance Code 001.

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All authors contributed to the study’s conception and design. Material preparation, data collection, and analysis were performed by Anna Paula Marçal, Nicia Soares, and Laila Asth. The first draft of the manuscript was written by Anna Paula Marçal, Nicia Soares, and Laila Asth. Fabricio Moreira, Adaliene Feerreira and Daniele Aguiar supervised the experiments and revised the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript. Therefore, the authors have no conflict of interest to declare.

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Correspondence to Daniele C. Aguiar.

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The authors have no relevant financial or non-financial to disclose.

Ethics approval

According to the Brazilian Society of Neuroscience and Behavior Guidelines for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, all experimental procedures were done and approved by the local ethics committee of the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Comissão de Ética no uso de Animais (CEUA), on 10/21/2019, protocol number: 242/2019.

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Marçal, A.P., Soares, N., Asth, L. et al. Cannabidiol ameliorates the anxiogenic and compulsive-like behaviors induced by chronic consumption of a high-carbohydrate diet in male mice. Metab Brain Dis 37, 2711–2718 (2022).

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