Effect of chronic exposure to rimonabant and phytocannabinoids on anxiety-like behavior and saccharin palatability

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2013 Jan;103(3):597-602. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2012.10.008. Epub 2012 Oct 25.


The acute effects of cannabinoid compounds have been investigated in animal models of anxiety-like behavior and palatability processing. However, the chronic effects of cannabinoids in such models are poorly understood. Experiment 1 compared the effects of both acute and chronic (14 days) exposure to the CB(1) receptor inverse agonist/antagonist, rimonabant, and the cannabis-derived CB(1) receptor neutral antagonist, tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), on: 1) time spent in the open, lit box in the Light-Dark (LD) immersion model of anxiety-like behavior and 2) saccharin hedonic reactions in the taste reactivity (TR) test of palatability processing. Experiment 2 compared the effects of chronic administration of cannabis-derived Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9)-THC), cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG) in these models. Tests were administered on Days 1, 7 and 14 of drug administration. In Experiment 1, rimonabant, but not THCV, produced an anxiogenic-like reaction in the LD immersion test and reduced saccharin palatability in the TR test; both of these effects occurred acutely and were not enhanced by chronic exposure. In Experiment 2, Δ(9)-THC also produced an acute anxiogenic-like reaction in the LD immersion test, without enhancement by chronic exposure. However, Δ(9)-THC enhanced saccharin palatability in the TR test on Day 1 of drug exposure only. CBD and CBG did not modify anxiety-like responding, but CBG produced a weak enhancement of saccharin palatability on Day 1 only. The results suggest that the anxiogenic-like reactions and the suppression of hedonic responding produced by rimonabant, are mediated by inverse agonism of the CB(1) receptor and these effects are not enhanced with chronic exposure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anxiety / chemically induced*
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Cannabidiol / administration & dosage
  • Cannabidiol / pharmacology
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Antagonists / pharmacology*
  • Cannabinoids / administration & dosage
  • Cannabinoids / pharmacology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dronabinol / administration & dosage
  • Dronabinol / analogs & derivatives
  • Dronabinol / pharmacology
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Inverse Agonism
  • Male
  • Piperidines / administration & dosage
  • Piperidines / pharmacology*
  • Pyrazoles / administration & dosage
  • Pyrazoles / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Rimonabant
  • Saccharin / administration & dosage*
  • Taste / drug effects*
  • Taste / physiology*
  • Taste Perception / drug effects


  • Cannabinoid Receptor Antagonists
  • Cannabinoids
  • Piperidines
  • Pyrazoles
  • Cannabidiol
  • tetrahydrocannabivarin 9
  • Dronabinol
  • Saccharin
  • cannabigerol
  • Rimonabant