CB1 cannabinoid receptor antagonist-induced opiate withdrawal in morphine-dependent rats

Neuroreport. 1998 Oct 26;9(15):3397-402. doi: 10.1097/00001756-199810260-00012.


Recent reports have provided evidence of a link between the endogenous brain cannabinoid system and the endogenous central opioid systems. Here we report that the selective CB1 receptor antagonist SR 141716A induced behavioral and endocrine alterations associated with opiate withdrawal in morphine-dependent animals in a dose-dependent manner and that naloxone induced an opiate withdrawal syndrome in animals made cannabinoid-dependent by repeated administration of the potent cannabinoid agonist HU-210. Additionally CB1 and mu-opioid receptor mRNAs were co-localized in brain areas relevant for opiate withdrawal such as the nucleus accumbens, septum, dorsal striatum, the central amygdaloid nucleus and the habenular complex. These results suggest that CB1 cannabinoid receptors may play a role in the neuroadaptive processes associated with opiate dependence, and they lend further support for the hypothesis of a potential role of cannabinoid receptors in the neurobiological changes that culminate in drug addiction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Chemistry / physiology
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Male
  • Morphine Dependence / drug therapy*
  • Morphine Dependence / metabolism*
  • Naloxone / pharmacology
  • Narcotic Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Piperidines / pharmacology
  • Pyrazoles / pharmacology
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid
  • Receptors, Drug / analysis
  • Receptors, Drug / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Receptors, Drug / genetics
  • Receptors, Opioid, mu / analysis
  • Receptors, Opioid, mu / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, Opioid, mu / genetics
  • Rimonabant
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / metabolism*


  • Narcotic Antagonists
  • Piperidines
  • Pyrazoles
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Cannabinoid
  • Receptors, Drug
  • Receptors, Opioid, mu
  • Naloxone
  • Rimonabant