Systemic Injections of Cannabidiol Enhance Acetylcholine Levels from Basal Forebrain in Rats

Neurochem Res. 2018 Aug;43(8):1511-1518. doi: 10.1007/s11064-018-2565-0. Epub 2018 Jun 6.

Abstract

Cannabis sativa is a plant that contains more than 500 components, of which the most studied are Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Several studies have indicated that CBD displays neurobiological effects, including wake promotion. Moreover, experimental evidence has shown that injections of CBD enhance wake-related compounds, such as monoamines (dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine, and norepinephrine). However, no clear evidence is available regarding the effects of CBD on additional wake-related neurochemicals such as acetylcholine (ACh). Here, we demonstrate that systemic injections of CBD (0, 5, 10 or 30 mg/kg, i.p.) at the beginning of the lights-on period, increase the extracellular levels of ACh collected from the basal forebrain and measured by microdialysis and HPLC means. Moreover, the time course effects on the contents of ACh were present 5 h post-injection of CBD. Altogether, these data demonstrate that CBD increases ACh levels in a brain region related to wake control. This study is the first to show the effects of ACh levels in CBD-treated rats and suggests that the basal forebrain might be a site of action of CBD for wakefulness modulation.

Keywords: Cannabis; Dopamine; Monoamines; Sleep; Wakefulness.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Basal Forebrain / drug effects*
  • Cannabidiol / administration & dosage
  • Cannabidiol / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Time Factors
  • Wakefulness / drug effects
  • Wakefulness-Promoting Agents / administration & dosage
  • Wakefulness-Promoting Agents / pharmacology

Substances

  • Wakefulness-Promoting Agents
  • Cannabidiol
  • Acetylcholine