Environmental stress as a factor in the response of rat brain catecholamine metabolism to Δ8-tetrahydrocannabinol

Keith I. MacLean, John M. Littleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


In rats housed normally (aggregated, food and water ad lib) for fourteen days Δ8-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) produced mild sedation and minimal hypothermia. An increase in noradrenaline synthesis was observed, but brain dopamine metabolism was unchanged. In rats removed from this 'normal' environment to conditions of isolation and food deprivation for 24 h THC produced immobility, marked hyper-reactivity, and hypothermia. Brain noradrenaline metabolism was unchanged by THC under these conditions, but significant changes in striatal dopamine metabolism were observed. These changes are consistent with increased dopamine reuptake in striatum produced by this combination of THC and novel environment. It is suggested that some of the behavioural effects of cannabis administered under stressful conditions may be related to alterations in striatal dopamine metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-182
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 21 1977

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We wish to thank BeechamR esearchL aboratories for gifts of AS-THC and radiochemicalIsn. particular, thanks are due to Dr. M.S.G. Clark and Dr. M.G. Palfreymanfo r help and advice.T his study was supported in part by a CAPS award to K.I.M. from the SRC and BeechamR esearchL aboratories.


  • Cannabis
  • Central catecholamine metabolism
  • Dopamine uptake
  • Environment
  • Striatum
  • Δ-Tetrahydrocannabinol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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