Active Ingredient In Cannabis Eliminates Morphine Dependence In Rats

By chillinwill · Jul 7, 2009 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    Injections of THC, the active principle of cannabis, eliminate dependence on opiates (morphine, heroin) in rats deprived of their mothers at birth. The findings could lead to therapeutic alternatives to existing substitution treatments.

    In order to study psychiatric disorders, neurobiologists use animal models, especially maternal deprivation models. Depriving rats of their mothers for several hours a day after their birth leads to a lack of care and to early stress. The lack of care, which takes place during a period of intense neuronal development, is liable to cause lasting brain dysfunction.

    The study was carried out by Valérie Daugé and her team at the Laboratory for Physiopathology of Diseases of the Central Nervous System (UPMC / CNRS / INSERM).

    Valérie Daugé's team at the Laboratory for Physiopathology of Diseases of the Central Nervous System (UPMC / CNRS / Inserm) analyzed the effects of maternal deprivation combined with injections of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main active principle in cannabis, on behavior with regard to opiates.

    Previously, Daugé and her colleagues had shown that rats deprived of their mothers at birth become hypersensitive to the rewarding effect of morphine and heroin (substances belonging to the opiate family), and rapidly become dependent. In addition, there is a correlation between such behavioral disturbances linked to dependence, and hypoactivity of the enkephalinergic system, the endogenous opioid system.

    To these rats, placed under stress from birth, the researchers intermittently administered increasingly high doses of THC (5 or 10 mg/kg) during the period corresponding to their adolescence (between 35 and 48 days after birth). By measuring their consumption of morphine in adulthood, they observed that, unlike results previously obtained, the rats no longer developed typical morphine-dependent behavior. Moreover, biochemical and molecular biological data corroborate these findings. In the striatum, a region of the brain involved in drug dependence, the production of endogenous enkephalins was restored under THC, whereas it diminished in rats stressed from birth which had not received THC.

    Such animal models are validated for understanding the neurobiological and behavioral effects of postnatal conditions in humans. In this context, the findings point to the development of new treatments that could relieve withdrawal effects and suppress drug dependence.

    The enkephalinergic system produces endogenous enkephalins, which are neurotransmitters that bind to the same receptors as opiates and inhibit pain messages to the brain.

    July 6, 2009
    Science Daily

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  1. Wehr
    Marijuana Ingredient Blocks Opiate Dependence, Study Says

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]July 9, 2009 - Paris, France

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Paris, France: [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The administration of oral THC in rats suppresses sensitivity to opiate dependence, according to preclinical findings published in the June 24 issue of the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]An international team of researchers from France and Canada assessed the impact oral THC (dronabinol) exposure in maternally deprived rats. (Rats that are deprived of their mothers immediately after birth are far more vulnerable to opiate dependence than non-deprived subjects.)[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]"[D]ronabinol treatment on maternally deprived rats normalized ... morphine consumption and suppressed sensitivity to morphine conditioning," researchers reported. "These findings point to the self-medication use of cannabis in subgroups of individuals subjected to adverse postnatal environment(s)."[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Clinical data published this month in the July/August issue of the American Journal on Addictions reported that drug treatment subjects who used cannabis intermittently were more likely to adhere to treatment for opioid dependence.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Commenting on the studies, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said, "These findings undermine the notion that cannabis is a so-called 'gateway' to hard drug use. Rather, these results indicate that in certain populations marijuana may be a useful tool for deterring the initiation or continuation of hard drug abuse."[/FONT]
  2. Rightnow289
  3. chillinwill
  4. Wehr
    Re: Marijuana Ingredient Blocks Opiate Dependence, Study Says

    Ok Swim will add the source and remove links next time... SwiChillnWill is that the same article Swim doesn't have time at the moment to check that link but he did UTFSE before posting and didn't find anything matching that title so will be more careful in the future. Swim thanks SWIYall for bringing this to his attention.:)
  5. chillinwill
    Re: Marijuana Ingredient Blocks Opiate Dependence, Study Says

    It's not the same article but does revolve around the same topic. Your article would be a great addition to that thread.
  6. Jatelka
    For those that are interested, the paper that this article refers to is in the archive here
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