Acute administration of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor antagonist SR 141716A induces anxiety-like responses in the rat

Neuroreport. 1997 Jan 20;8(2):491-6. doi: 10.1097/00001756-199701200-00023.


Animal models have revealed that psychoactive cannabinoids induce both anxiolytic and anxiety-like reactions which are dose- and context-dependent. In the present study we examined the acute actions of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor antagonist SR 141716A in both the defensive withdrawal test and the elevated plus-maze in rats. Acute administration of SR 141716A (0.1, 1 and 3 mg kg-1) induced defensive responses in both anxiety tests, at a dose of 3 mg kg-1. This dose had no effect on horizontal locomotor activity and did not activate the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, although several cannabinoid withdrawal-like behavioural symptoms were observed. These results demonstrate that blockade of the endogenous cannabinoid tone might induce anxiety-like responses in rats.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anxiety / chemically induced*
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Male
  • Piperidines / administration & dosage
  • Piperidines / pharmacology*
  • Pyrazoles / administration & dosage
  • Pyrazoles / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid
  • Receptors, Drug / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Rimonabant
  • Time Factors


  • Piperidines
  • Pyrazoles
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid
  • Receptors, Drug
  • Rimonabant