Amnesia induced by beta-amyloid fragments is counteracted by cannabinoid CB1 receptor blockade

Eur J Pharmacol. 2003 Sep 23;477(3):219-25. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2003.08.026.


Administration of drugs activating cannabinoid CB(1) receptors in the brain induces memory deficit in rodents, and blockade of these receptors may restore memory capacity in these animals. Central administration of beta-amyloid or beta-amyloid fragments may also lead to memory disturbances. This study was undertaken to study the involvement of cannabinoid CB(1) receptors in amnesia induced by beta-amyloid fragments in mice tested in a step-through passive avoidance paradigm. Pre-training intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection of beta-amyloid fragments, beta-amyloid peptide-(25-35) (4, 8 or 16 nmol/mouse) or beta-amyloid peptide-(1-42) (200, 400, 800 pmol/mouse) 7 days prior to the learning trial reduced in a dose-dependent manner the retention of passive avoidance response. This effect was observed in two retention tests, 1 and 7 days after the learning trial. The two beta-amyloid fragments showed similar potency in reducing retention of passive avoidance behavior. This effect was counteracted by a single intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of the cannabinoid CB(1) receptor antagonist, N-(piperidin-l-yl)-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-methyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamide hydrochloride (SR141716A, 1 mg/kg), made 30 min prior to the second retention test. The injection of SR141716A per se did not affect memory capacity of mice. The i.c.v. administration of beta-amyloid peptide-(25-35) (8 nmol/mouse) or of beta-amyloid peptide-(1-42) (400 pmol/mouse) made 30 min prior to the learning trial failed to affect the retention capacity of mice as measured 1 and 7 days later. Also, the i.p. injection of SR 141716A (1 mg/kg) made 30 min prior to the learning trial did not influence the behavioral response of mice injected with beta-amyloid peptide-(25-35) (8 nmol/mouse) or of beta-amyloid peptide-(1-42) (400 pmol/mouse) 7 days prior to the learning trial. These results show that beta-amyloid fragments induce a dose-dependent memory deficit. Their effect on memory retention depends upon the time of administration and seems to involve cannabinoid CB(1) receptors in the brain.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Amnesia / chemically induced*
  • Amnesia / prevention & control*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / administration & dosage
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / adverse effects*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning / drug effects
  • Avoidance Learning / physiology
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Injections, Intraventricular
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Peptide Fragments / administration & dosage
  • Peptide Fragments / adverse effects*
  • Peptide Fragments / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Piperidines / administration & dosage
  • Piperidines / pharmacokinetics
  • Piperidines / therapeutic use
  • Pyrazoles / administration & dosage
  • Pyrazoles / pharmacokinetics
  • Pyrazoles / therapeutic use
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1 / drug effects
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1 / physiology*
  • Retention, Psychology / drug effects
  • Retention, Psychology / physiology
  • Rimonabant
  • Time Factors


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Piperidines
  • Pyrazoles
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1
  • amyloid beta-protein (1-42)
  • amyloid beta-protein (21-35)
  • Rimonabant