Brain Res Bull. 2021 Jun 27:S0361-9230(21)00191-X. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2021.06.017. Online ahead of print.
The prelimbic division (PrL) of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is a cerebral division that is putatively implicated in the chronic pain and depression. We investigated the activity of PrL cortex neurons in Wistar rats that underwent chronic constriction injury (CCI) of sciatic nerve and were further subjected to the forced swimming (FS) test and mechanical allodynia (by von Frey test). The effect of blockade of synapses with cobalt chloride (CoCl2), and the treatment of the PrL cortex with cannabidiol (CBD), the CB1 receptor antagonist AM251 and the 5-HT1A receptor antagonist WAY-100,635 were also investigated. Our results showed that CoCl2 decreased the time spent immobile during the FS test but did not alter mechanical allodynia. CBD (at 15, 30 and 60 nmol) in the PrL cortex also decreased the frequency and duration of immobility; however, only the dose of 30 nmol of CBD attenuated mechanical allodynia in rats with chronic NP. AM251 and WAY-100,635 in the PrL cortex attenuated the antidepressive and analgesic effect caused by CBD but did not alter the immobility and the mechanical allodynia when administered alone. These data show that the PrL cortex is part of the neural substrate underlying the comorbidity between NP and depression. Also, the previous blockade of CB1 cannabinoid receptors and 5-HT1A serotonergic receptors in the PrL cortex attenuated the antidepressive and analgesics effect of the CBD. They also suggest that CBD could be a potential medicine for the treatment of depressive and pain symptoms in patients with chronic NP/depression comorbidity.