Rationale: Endocannabinoids are involved in a variety of behavioral and physiological processes that are just beginning to be understood. In the five-choice serial reaction-time task, exogenous cannabinoids have been found to alter attention, but endocannabinoids such as anandamide have not been studied. Objectives: We used this task to evaluate the effects of anandamide in rats. Since anandamide is a ligand for not only cannabinoid receptors but also transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) receptors, and as recently suggested, peroxisome proliferator-activated nuclear receptor-α (PPARα), we also determined whether anandamide's effects in this task were mediated by each of these receptors. Materials and methods: Whenever one of five holes was illuminated for 2 s, a food pellet was delivered if a response occurred in that hole during the light or within 2 s after the light. Results: Anandamide increased omission errors and decreased responding during inter-trial intervals. These effects were blocked by the TRPV1 antagonist capsazepine, but not by the cannabinoid-receptor antagonist rimonabant or the PPARα antagonist MK886. Testing with open-field activity and food-consumption procedures in the same rats suggested that the disruption of operant responding observed in the attention task was not due to motor depression, anxiety, decreased appetite, or an inability to find and consume food pellets. Conclusions: The vanilloid-dependent behavioral disruption induced by anandamide was specific to the operant attention task. These effects of anandamide resemble effects of systemically administered dopamine antagonists and might reflect changes in vanilloid-mediated dopamine transmission.
- 5-Choice serial reaction-time task (5-CSRRT)
- Open-field activity
- Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)
- Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 receptor (TRPV1)
ASJC Scopus subject areas