Cannabinoid CB(1) receptor (CB(1)R) signaling has been suggested to play an important role in the regulation of memory and cognition. In the present study, our aim was to investigate whether the CB(1)R antagonist SLV330 (doses ranging from 0.3 to 10mg/kg, given orally, p.o.) could ameliorate impairments in distinct aspects of cognition using different disruption models in both mice and rats. Effects of SLV330 were tested on working memory deficits in the T-maze Continuous Alternation Task (T-CAT) in mice; episodic memory deficits in the Object Recognition Task (ORT) and Social Recognition Task (SRT) in rats. The acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (AChEI) donepezil (Aricept, approved for symptomatic treatment of Alzheimer's disease) and nicotine were used as reference compounds. SLV330 markedly improved aging and scopolamine-induced memory deficits in the T-CAT in mice with a lowest effective dose (LED) of 1mg/kg p.o., while reversing the cognitive dysfunction induced by the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist dizocilpine (MK-801) only at the middle dose of 3mg/kg. In the ORT, we have found that combined administration of subthreshold doses of SLV330 (1mg/kg, p.o.) and the AChEI donepezil (0.1mg/kg, p.o.), that had no discernable effects on performance when given alone, enhanced memory performance in Wistar rats with deficits induced by the muscarinic antagonist scopolamine, suggestive of additive synergistic effects of SLV330 and donepezil on cognitive impairment. Finally, SLV330 was found to have cognition enhancing properties in a time delay paradigm in the SRT at a LED dose of 3mg/kg (p.o.). In conclusion, the CB(1)R antagonist SLV330 was found to clearly improve memory in several preclinical models for cognitive impairment.
Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.