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Altered Mesolimbic dopamine system in THC dependence

Spiga, Saturnino and Lintas, Alessandra and Diana, Marco (2011) Altered Mesolimbic dopamine system in THC dependence. Current Neuropharmacology, Vol. 9 (1), p. 200-204. eISSN 1875-6190. Article.

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DOI: 10.2174/157015911795017083


To explore the functional consequences of cannabinoid withdrawal in the rat mesolimbic dopamine system, we investigated the anatomical morphology of the mesencephalic, presumed dopaminergic, neurons and their main post-synaptic target in the Nucleus Accumbens. We found that TH-positive neurons shrink and Golgi-stained medium spiny neurons loose dendritic spines in withdrawal rats after chronic cannabinoids administration. Similar results were observed after administration of the cannabinoid antagonist rimonabant to drug-naive rats supporting a role for endocannabinoids in neurogenesis, axonal growth and synaptogenesis. This evidence supports the tenet that withdrawal from addictive compounds alters functioning of the mesolimbic system. The data add to a growing body of work which indicates a hypodopaminergic state as a distinctive feature of the “addicted brain”.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:6844
Uncontrolled Keywords:Cannabinoids, dopamine, nucleus accumbens, withdrawal, cannabis derivatives, cannabinoid CB1 receptors, neuro- biological effects, psychological functions, dopamine (DA), Ventral Tegmental area (VTA), cannabinoid dependence
Subjects:Area 05 - Scienze biologiche > BIO/14 Farmacologia
Divisions:001 Università di Sassari > 01 Dipartimenti > Scienze del farmaco
Publisher:Bentham Science
Deposited On:09 Dec 2011 14:30

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