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Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) interferes with conditioned retching in Suncus murinus: An animal model of anticipatory nausea and vomiting (ANV)

Parker, Linda A.CA; Kemp, Stephen W. P.


Little is understood about effective countermeasures to the expression of anticipatory nausea and vomiting (ANV) in chemotherapy patients. We present a model of ANV based on the emetic reactions of the Suncus murinus (musk shrew). Following two pairings of a novel distinctive contextual cue with the emetic effects of an injection of lithium chloride, the context acquired the potential to elicit retching in the absence of the toxin. The expression of this conditioned retching reaction was completely suppressed by pretreatment with THC at a dose that did not suppress general activity. This provides the first experimental evidence in support of anecdotal reports that THC suppresses ANV.

Department of Psychology, Wilfrid Lauier Unversity, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5, Canada

CACorresponding Author

Received 27 September 2000; accepted 8 January 2001

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.