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The contributions of the endocannabinoid system and stress on the neural processing of reward stimuli.

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2020 Nov 19;:110183

Authors: Filbey FM, Beaton D, Prashad S

The brain endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in reward processes by mediating appetitive learning and encoding the reinforcing properties of substances. Evidence also suggests that endocannabinoids are an important constituent of neuronal substrates involved in emotional responses to stress. Thus, it is critical to understand how the endocannabinoid system and stress may affect reward processes given their importance in substance use disorders. We examined the relationship between factors that regulate endocannabinoid system signaling (i.e., cannabinoid receptor genes and prolonged cannabis exposure) and stress on fMRI BOLD response to reward cues using a multivariate statistical technique. We found that proxies for endocannabinoid system signaling (i.e., endocannabinoid genes and chronic exposure to cannabis) and stress have differential effects on neural response to cannabis cues. Specifically, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) variant in the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CNR1) gene, early life stress, and current perceived stress modulated reward responsivity in long-term, heavy cannabis users, while a variant in the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) gene and current perceived stress modulated cue-elicited response in non-using controls. These associations were related to distinct neural responses to cannabis-related cues compared to natural reward cues. Understanding the contributions of endocannabinoid system factors and stress that lead to downstream effects on neural mechanisms underlying sensitivity to rewards, such as cannabis, will contribute towards a better understanding of endocannabinoid-targeted therapies as well as individuals risks for cannabis use disorder.

PMID: 33221340 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Source: ncbi 2

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Categories: Medical

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