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Repeated but not acute treatment with ∆-tetrahydrocannabinol disrupts prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle: reversal by the dopamine D₂/₃ receptor antagonist haloperidol

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Published in European Neuropsychopharmacology. 2014, vol. 24, no. 8, p. 1415-1423
Abstract Cannabis produces cognitive dysfunctions that resemble those of schizophrenia; yet the neurobiological substrate of this similarity remains unclear. Schizophrenia patients show deficits in prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle reflex (ASR), an operational measure of the information-processing abnormalities that may underlie the cognitive and positive symptoms of the disease. However, the effect of cannabis on PPI remains poorly understood, as data are often contradictory. Here, we investigated the effect of acute and repeated treatment with ∆(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis, on PPI in rats, and the role of dopamine D₂/₃-receptor blockade in this effect. PPI and ASR were sequentially measured after the first and the last dose of a 21-days treatment with THC (1 mg/kg/day) or vehicle and at 1-week following discontinuation of treatment. The effect of haloperidol (0.1 mg/kg) on THC-induced PPI alteration was also evaluated. Chronic, but not acute, THC treatment produced significant reductions in PPI that were normalized back to control values within one-week of THC discontinuation. The THC-induced gating deficits were observed in the absence of ASR change and were reversed by the D₂/₃-receptor antagonist haloperidol. Chronic THC exposure induced PPI disruptions that emerged only following repeated administrations, suggesting that time-dependent neuroadaptations within the DA mesolimbic system are involved in the disruptive effects of THC on sensorimotor gating. These gating deficits were transient and appeared to be dependent on an overactivity of D₂/₃-receptor-mediated dopamine signaling, highlighting a potential role for D₂/₃-receptors in the propsychotic action of THC.
Keywords Acoustic StimulationAnalysis of VarianceAnimalsDisease Models, AnimalDopamine Antagonists/therapeutic useDronabinol/toxicityGait Disorders, Neurologic/chemically induced/drug therapyHallucinogens/toxicityHaloperidol/therapeutic useMalePrepulse Inhibition/drug effectsPsychoacousticsRatsRats, Sprague-DawleyTime Factors
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PMID: 24846537
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Article (Published version) (816 Kb) - document accessible for UNIGE members only Limited access to UNIGE
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Research group Neuroimagerie moléculaire en psychiatrie (983)
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TOURNIER, Benjamin, GINOVART, Nathalie. Repeated but not acute treatment with ∆-tetrahydrocannabinol disrupts prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle: reversal by the dopamine D₂/₃ receptor antagonist haloperidol. In: European Neuropsychopharmacology, 2014, vol. 24, n° 8, p. 1415-1423. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:92575

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Deposited on : 2017-03-15

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