Altered SWD stopping mechanism in WAG/Rij rats subchronically treated with the cannabinoid agonist R(+)WIN55,212-2
Number of pages
SourceEpilepsy & Behavior, 102, (2020), article 106722
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC SMN
Epilepsy & Behavior
SubjectAction, intention, and motor control; All institutes and research themes of the Radboud University Medical Center; Radboudumc 13: Stress-related disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
A single injection of the cannabinoid agonist R(+)WIN55,212-2 (WIN) is known to cause an increase of the mean duration of spontaneously occurring spike-and-wave discharges (SWDs) in rats of the WAG/Rij strain, a genetic model for absence epilepsy. The aim of the present study was to establish whether repeated activation of CB1 receptors with WIN leads to tolerance in its effect on SWD parameters, spectral density, and behavior over time. Adult male WAG/Rij rats (n=16) were treated with WIN (6mg/kg) or vehicle (olive oil). Injections (s.c.) took place 3 times per week during 2weeks. Electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings, each lasting 24h, were made 3 times: immediately before the first injection (baseline), immediately after the first injection (acute treatment), and after 2weeks of treatment (subchronic treatment). The recordings were analyzed regarding incidence, durations of SWDs, and hazard rates of the durations of SWDs, the latter to describe SWD stopping probabilities. Putative changes in the spectral content of the EEG before and after WIN during active and passive behaviors were additionally investigated. Spike-and-wave discharge incidence was not affected by the acute and subchronic treatments. The mean duration of the SWDs was significantly longer than controls in the acute WIN-treated animals [11.9-s standard error of the mean (SEM): 0.64 compared with 8.4-s SEM: 0.25] as well as in subchronically treated animals (11.5-s SEM: 1.00 compared with 8.4-s SEM: 0.25). Hazard rates were significantly lower for WIN-treated animals at SWD durations in the 5.04-20.16-s range on both occasions. No effects of WIN on the frequency spectrum of the ongoing EEG were found, neither acutely nor after repeated administration. Evidence for tolerance was not found. The results on the mean duration and hazard rates suggest that stimulating the endocannabinoid system affects the SWD stopping mechanism, resulting in more long SWDs. We speculate that this effect is likely to be a direct result of CB1 receptor agonism and a subsequent decrease in the availability of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the reticular thalamic nucleus, which further weakens, in WAG/Rij rats already disturbed, the stopping mechanism of the SWDs.
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