Sub-chronic treatment with cannabidiol but not with URB597 induced a mild antidepressant-like effect in diabetic rats

Depression associated with diabetes has been described as a highly debilitating comorbidity. Due to its complex and multifactorial mechanisms, the treatment of depression associated with diabetes represents a clinical challenge. Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychotomimetic compound derived from Cannabis sativa, has been pointed out as a promising compound for the treatment of several psychiatric disorders. Here, we evaluated the potential antidepressant-like effect of acute or sub-chronic treatment with CBD in diabetic rats using the modified forced swimming test (mFST). Also, to better understand the functionality of the endocannabinoid system in diabetic animals we also evaluated the effect of URB597, a fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibitor. Four weeks after the treatment with streptozotocin (60 mg/kg; i.p.; diabetic group-DBT) or citrate buffer (i.p.; normoglycemic group-NGL), DBT animals received an acute intraperitoneal injection of CBD (0, 0.3, 3, 10, 30 or 60 mg/kg), 1 h before the mFST, or URB597 (0, 0.1, 0.3 or 1 mg/kg) 2 h before the mFST. In another set of experiments, animals were sub-chronically treated with CBD (0, 0.3, 3, 30 or 60 mg/kg i.p.), 24, 5 and 1 h before the mFST or URB597 (0, 0.1, 0.3 or 1 mg/kg i.p.) 24, 5 and 2 h before the mFST. The NGL group was acutely treated with CBD (0, 30 mg/kg i.p.) or URB597 (0, 0.3 mg/kg; i.p.). Acute treatment with either CBD or URB induced an antidepressant-like effect in NGL rats, but not in DBT rats. However, sub-chronic treatment with CBD (only at a dose of 30 mg/kg), but not with URB597, induced a mild antidepressant-like effect in DBT animals. Neither body weight nor blood glucose levels were altered by treatments. Considering the importance of the endocannabinoid system to the mechanism of action of many antidepressant drugs, the mild antidepressant-like effect of the sub-chronic treatment with CBD, but not with URB597 does not invalidate the importance of deepening the studies involving the endocannabinoid system particularly in DBT animals.

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