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A follow-up study: acute behavioural effects of Delta(9)-THC in female heterozygous neuregulin 1 transmembrane domain mutant mice


RATIONALE: Heavy cannabis use is linked with an increased risk for schizophrenia. We showed previously that male heterozygous neuregulin 1 transmembrane domain (Nrg1 HET) mice are more sensitive to some effects of the psychotropic cannabis constituent Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). We report data from a follow-up study in female Nrg1 HET mice, investigating THC effects on behaviours with some relevance to schizophrenia. METHODS: Mice were injected with THC (0, 5 or 10 mg/kg i.p.) 30 min before a test battery: open field, elevated plus maze, novel object recognition (set 1) or light-dark, social interaction (SI) and prepulse inhibition (PPI 1: variable interstimulus interval (ISI); set 2). Another set (set 3) was injected with the same doses of THC before a fixed interstimulus interval PPI test (PPI 2). RESULTS: Female Nrg1 HETs displayed the hallmark increased locomotor activity at 5 months and anxiolytic-like behaviour in the open field at 3 and 5 months. THC decreased locomotor activity in both genotypes. THC selectively reduced some SI behaviours in WT mice. Baseline PPI was enhanced in mutants under a variable ISI, while THC had no effect on PPI using either protocol. CONCLUSIONS: This study reports novel findings on the baseline PPI profile and resistance to THC-induced social withdrawal in female Nrg1 HET mice. This is the first description of THC effects in females of this mouse model and suggests that the transmembrane domain Nrg1 mutation does not appear to have a severe impact on the behavioural sensitivity to THC in female mice.

Type Journal
ISBN 1432-2072 (Electronic) 0033-3158 (Linking)
Authors Long, L. E.; Chesworth, R.; Arnold, J. C.; Karl, T.;
Published Date 2010-01-01
Published Volume 211
Published Issue 3
Published Pages 277-89
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version
OpenAccess link to author's accepted manuscript version