Gertsch Group

Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of Bern, Switzerland

The CB2 receptor involved in cocaine addiction?

The CB2 receptor involved in cocaine addiction?
Jurg Gertsch - Wed Sep 14, 2011 @ 08:20PM
Comments: 1

In the current Nature Neuroscience issue Eliot Gardners group from NIDA publishes a study showing the direct involvement of the cannabinoid CB2 receptor in cocaine addiction. The story is straightforward as it seems. CB2 agonists inhibit self-administration of cocaine in rats (bless them) and antagonists blocked the effect of CB2 agonists. They also used some CB receptor KO mice to corroborate their findings ... overall, an intriguing story - Thinking about the fact that we have found a dietary full CB2 agonist (beta-caryophyllene) that is nontoxic and usually better than JWH133 I wonder ... (thinking more ... is the CB2 receptor really present in the nucleus accumbens? It seems so if we belive this fascinating study - and more than this, it seems that it could play an important role in the reward system).

From the paper by Xi et al: We found that systemic, intranasal or intra-accumbens local administration of JWH133, a selective CB2 receptor agonist, dose-dependently inhibited intravenous cocaine self-administration, cocaine-enhanced locomotion, and cocaine-enhanced accumbens extracellular dopamine in wild-type and CB1 receptor knockout (CB1(-/-), also known as Cnr1(-/-)) mice, but not in CB(2)(-/-) (Cnr2(-/-)) mice.

Comments: 1


1. Stanton P   |   Sat Jul 28, 2012 @ 09:20AM

Such experiments are highly artificial, though well published. At the concentrations used of JWH133 may not even be selective towards CB2 anymore but also target other things in the brain. The evidence from the CB2 KO mice is always yes or no, thus a 50% chance, black and white - but what if JWH133 does something that in KO mice does not happen, independent of CB2 - where are the controls in this study?

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