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Cannabinoid-1 receptor antagonist rimonabant (SR141716) increases striatal dopamine D2 receptor availability

Authors

  • Cleo L. Crunelle,

    Corresponding author
    1. Amsterdam Institute for Addiction Research and Department of Psychiatry, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
    2. Department of Nuclear Medicine, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
    • Cleo L. Crunelle, Department of Psychiatry, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 9, Room PA3-229, 1105 AZ, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. E-mail: c.l.crunelle@amc.uva.nl

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    • Both authors contributed equally.

  • Elsmarieke van de Giessen,

    1. Department of Nuclear Medicine, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
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    • Both authors contributed equally.

  • Sybille Schulz,

    1. Department of Neuropharmacology, Brain Research Institute, University of Bremen, Germany
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  • Louk J. M. J. Vanderschuren,

    1. Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands
    2. Department of Animals in Science and Society, Division of Behavioural Neuroscience, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, the Netherlands
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  • Kora de Bruin,

    1. Department of Nuclear Medicine, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
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  • Wim van den Brink,

    1. Amsterdam Institute for Addiction Research and Department of Psychiatry, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
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  • Jan Booij

    1. Department of Nuclear Medicine, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
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ABSTRACT

The cannabinoid 1 receptor antagonist rimonabant (SR141716) alters rewarding properties and intake of food and drugs. Additionally, striatal dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) availability has been implicated in reward function. This study shows that chronic treatment of rats with rimonabant (1.0 and 3.0 mg/kg/day) dose-dependently increased DRD2 availability in the dorsal striatum (14 and 23%) compared with vehicle. High-dose rimonabant also increased DRD2 availability in the ventral striatum (12%) and reduced weight gain. Thus, up-regulation of striatal DRD2 by chronic rimonabant administration may be an underlying mechanism of action and confirms the interactions of the endocannabinoid and dopaminergic systems.

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