The effects anandamide signaling in the prelimbic cortex and basolateral amygdala on coping with environmental stimuli in rats

Mano Aliczki, I. Barna, Ibolya Till, M. Baranyi, B. Sperlágh, Steven R. Goldberg, J. Haller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rationale: Several lines of recent evidence suggest that endocannabinoids affect behavior by influencing the general patterns of challenge responding. Objectives: Here, we investigated the brain mechanisms underlying this phenomenon in rats. Methods: The anandamide hydrolysis inhibitor URB597 was condensed into the tip of stainless steel cannulae, which were chronically implanted slightly above the prelimbic cortex (PRL) or the basolateral amygdala (BLA), two important regions of coping and endocannabinoid action. Thereafter, we investigated behavioral responsiveness to ambient light level in the elevated plus-maze and conditioned fear tests. Results: URB597 concentration was ~30 μg/mg protein in target areas; local brain anandamide levels increased threefold, without significant changes in 2-arachidonoylglycerol. High levels of illumination halved the time spent by controls in the open arms of the plus-maze. No similar decrease was observed in rats with URB597 implants in the PRL. High light decreased conditioned fear by 30 % in controls, but not in rats with prelimbic URB597 implants. Unresponsiveness to environmental challenges was not attributable to the anxiolytic effects of anandamide enhancement, as implants induced paradoxical anxiogenic-like effects under low light, which could be explained by effects on stimulus responsiveness rather than by effects on anxiety. URB597 implants targeting the BLA did not affect stimulus responsiveness. Conclusions: Our findings show that elevated prelimbic anandamide signaling leads to less environment-dependent (more autonomous) behavioral responses to challenges, which is an attribute of active coping styles. These findings are discussed in light of two emerging concepts of endocannabinoid roles, particularly “emotional homeostasis” and “active coping.”

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalPsychopharmacology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 26 2016

Fingerprint

Endocannabinoids
Light
Fear
Stainless Steel
Anti-Anxiety Agents
Brain
Lighting
Hydrolysis
Homeostasis
Anxiety
anandamide
Basolateral Nuclear Complex
cyclohexyl carbamic acid 3'-carbamoylbiphenyl-3-yl ester
Proteins

Keywords

  • Amygdala
  • Anandamide
  • Basolateral amygdala
  • Coping
  • Emotional homeostasis
  • Medial prefrontal cortex
  • Prelimbic cortex
  • URB597

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

Cite this

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title = "The effects anandamide signaling in the prelimbic cortex and basolateral amygdala on coping with environmental stimuli in rats",
abstract = "Rationale: Several lines of recent evidence suggest that endocannabinoids affect behavior by influencing the general patterns of challenge responding. Objectives: Here, we investigated the brain mechanisms underlying this phenomenon in rats. Methods: The anandamide hydrolysis inhibitor URB597 was condensed into the tip of stainless steel cannulae, which were chronically implanted slightly above the prelimbic cortex (PRL) or the basolateral amygdala (BLA), two important regions of coping and endocannabinoid action. Thereafter, we investigated behavioral responsiveness to ambient light level in the elevated plus-maze and conditioned fear tests. Results: URB597 concentration was ~30 μg/mg protein in target areas; local brain anandamide levels increased threefold, without significant changes in 2-arachidonoylglycerol. High levels of illumination halved the time spent by controls in the open arms of the plus-maze. No similar decrease was observed in rats with URB597 implants in the PRL. High light decreased conditioned fear by 30 {\%} in controls, but not in rats with prelimbic URB597 implants. Unresponsiveness to environmental challenges was not attributable to the anxiolytic effects of anandamide enhancement, as implants induced paradoxical anxiogenic-like effects under low light, which could be explained by effects on stimulus responsiveness rather than by effects on anxiety. URB597 implants targeting the BLA did not affect stimulus responsiveness. Conclusions: Our findings show that elevated prelimbic anandamide signaling leads to less environment-dependent (more autonomous) behavioral responses to challenges, which is an attribute of active coping styles. These findings are discussed in light of two emerging concepts of endocannabinoid roles, particularly “emotional homeostasis” and “active coping.”",
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AU - Aliczki, Mano

AU - Barna, I.

AU - Till, Ibolya

AU - Baranyi, M.

AU - Sperlágh, B.

AU - Goldberg, Steven R.

AU - Haller, J.

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N2 - Rationale: Several lines of recent evidence suggest that endocannabinoids affect behavior by influencing the general patterns of challenge responding. Objectives: Here, we investigated the brain mechanisms underlying this phenomenon in rats. Methods: The anandamide hydrolysis inhibitor URB597 was condensed into the tip of stainless steel cannulae, which were chronically implanted slightly above the prelimbic cortex (PRL) or the basolateral amygdala (BLA), two important regions of coping and endocannabinoid action. Thereafter, we investigated behavioral responsiveness to ambient light level in the elevated plus-maze and conditioned fear tests. Results: URB597 concentration was ~30 μg/mg protein in target areas; local brain anandamide levels increased threefold, without significant changes in 2-arachidonoylglycerol. High levels of illumination halved the time spent by controls in the open arms of the plus-maze. No similar decrease was observed in rats with URB597 implants in the PRL. High light decreased conditioned fear by 30 % in controls, but not in rats with prelimbic URB597 implants. Unresponsiveness to environmental challenges was not attributable to the anxiolytic effects of anandamide enhancement, as implants induced paradoxical anxiogenic-like effects under low light, which could be explained by effects on stimulus responsiveness rather than by effects on anxiety. URB597 implants targeting the BLA did not affect stimulus responsiveness. Conclusions: Our findings show that elevated prelimbic anandamide signaling leads to less environment-dependent (more autonomous) behavioral responses to challenges, which is an attribute of active coping styles. These findings are discussed in light of two emerging concepts of endocannabinoid roles, particularly “emotional homeostasis” and “active coping.”

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KW - Prelimbic cortex

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