The endocannabinoid system (eCBs) encompasses the endocannabinoids, their synthetic and degradative enzymes, and cannabinoid (CB) receptors. The eCBs mediates inhibition of neurotransmitter release and acts as a major homeostatic system. Many aspects of the eCBs are altered in a number of psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, which is characterized by dysregulation of dopaminergic signaling. The GluN1-Knockdown (GluN1KD) and Dopamine Transporter Knockout (DATKO) mice are models of hyperdopaminergia, which display abnormal psychosis-related behaviors, including hyperlocomotion and changes in pre-pulse inhibition (PPI). Here, we investigate the ability of a novel CB1 receptor (CB1R) allosteric modulator, ABM300, to ameliorate these dysregulated behaviors. ABM300 was characterized in vitro (receptor binding, β-arrestin2 recruitment, ERK1/2 phosphorylation, cAMP inhibition) and in vivo (anxiety-like behaviors, cannabimimetic effects, novel environment exploratory behavior, pre-pulse inhibition, conditioned avoidance response) to assess the effects of the compound in dysregulated behaviors within the transgenic models. In vitro, ABM300 increased CB1R agonist binding but acted as an inhibitor of CB1R agonist induced signaling, including β-arrestin2 translocation, ERK phosphorylation and cAMP inhibition. In vivo, ABM300 did not elicit anxiogenic-like or cannabimimetic effects, but it decreased novelty-induced hyperactivity, exaggerated stereotypy, and vertical exploration in both transgenic models of hyperdopaminergia, as well as normalizing PPI in DATKO mice. The data demonstrate for the first time that a CB1R allosteric modulator ameliorates the behavioral deficits in two models of increased dopamine, warranting further investigation as a potential therapeutic target in psychiatry.
- Allosteric modulator
- sensorimotor processing