Cannabidiol Attenuates MK-801-Induced Cognitive Symptoms of Schizophrenia in the Passive Avoidance Test in Mice
Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disorder that disturbs feelings and behavior. The symptoms of schizophrenia fall into three categories: positive, negative, and cognitive. Cognitive symptoms are characterized by memory loss or attentional deficits, and are especially difficult to treat. Thus, there is intense research into the development of new treatments for schizophrenia-related responses. One of the possible strategies is connected with cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid compound. This research focuses on the role of CBD in different stages of memory (acquisition, consolidation, retrieval) connected with fear conditioning in the passive avoidance (PA) learning task in mice, as well as in the memory impairment typical of cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia. Memory impairment was provoked by an acute injection of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist MK-801 (animal model of schizophrenia). Our results revealed that an acute injection of CBD (30 mg/kg; intraperitoneally (i.p.) improved all phases of long-term fear memory in the PA test in mice. Moreover, the acute injection of non-effective doses of CBD (1 or 5 mg/kg; i.p.) attenuated the memory impairment provoked by MK-801 (0.6 mg/kg; i.p.) in the consolidation and retrieval stages of fear memory, but not in the acquisition of memory. The present findings confirm that CBD has a positive influence on memory and learning processes in mice, and reveals that this cannabinoid compound is able to attenuate memory impairment connected with hypofunction of glutamate transmission in a murine model of schizophrenia.
Keywords: cannabidiol; cognitive disorders; memory and learning; mice; passive avoidance test; schizophrenia.