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Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol interferes with the establishment and the expression of conditioned rejection reactions produced by cyclophosphamide: a rat model of nausea

Limebeer, Cheryl L.1; Parker, Linda A.1,2

Learning and Memory

RELIABLE animal models of nausea are necessary to better understand the neurobiology of nausea and to assess treatment effectiveness. We present such a model based on conditioned rejection reactions in rats. Our results demonstrate that delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a treatment reported to reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea in humans, also reduces conditioned rejection reactions in rats. Rats were administered THC or vehicle prior to a pairing of saccharin solution with cyclophosphamide or saline during conditioning and/or prior to test. THC interfered with the establishment of cyclophsophamide-induced conditioned rejection during conditioning and with the expression of conditioned rejection during testing. Our results confirm that the conditioned rejection reaction in the rat is a useful animal model of nausea.

1Department of Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5, Canada

2Corresponding Author: Linda A. Parker

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: This research was supported by a grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC–OGP 92057) to L.A.P. We thank Marion Corrick for excellent animal care, as well as Margaret Szymnanska, Theresa Cebo and the chemistry department for their assistance in preparation of the THC. All procedures were approved by the Wilfrid Laurier University Animal Care Committee according to the guidelines of the Canadian Council on Animal Care.

Received 25 August 1999; accepted 28 September 1999

© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.