Acta Vet. Brno 2008, 77: 183-191

Impact of Cannabinoid Receptor Ligands on Sensitisation to Methamphetamine Effects on Rat Locomotor Behaviour

L. Landa, K. Šlais, A. Šulcová

Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University Brno, Czech Republic

Received August 24, 2007
Accepted February 14, 2008

The repeated administration of various drugs of abuse may lead to a gradually increased behavioural response to these substances, particularly an increase in locomotion and stereotypies may occur. This phenomenon is well known and described as behavioural sensitisation. An increased response to the drug tested, elicited by previous repeated administration of another drug is recognised as cross-sensitisation. Based on our earlier experiences with studies on mice, which confirmed sensitisation to methamphetamine and described cross-sensitisation to methamphetamine after pre-treatment with cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonist, we focused the present study on the use of another typical laboratory animal - the rat. A biological validity of the sensitisation phenomenon was expected to be enhanced if the results of both mouse and rat studies were conformable. Similar investigation in rats brought very similar results to those described earlier in mice. However, at least some interspecies differences were noted in the rat susceptibility to the development of sensitisation to methamphetamine effects. Comparing to mice, it was more demanding to titrate a dose of methamphetamine producing behavioural sensitisation. Furthermore, we were not able to provoke cross-sensitisation by repeated administration of cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonist methanandamide and similarly, we did not demonstrate the suppression of cross-sensitisation in rats that were repeatedly given combined pre-treatment with cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist AM 251 and methamphetamine. Finally, unlike mice, an alternative behavioural change was registered after repeated methamphetamine treatment instead: the occurrence of stereotypic behaviour (nose rubbing).