Effectiveness of cannabidiol in reducing ketamine-induced schizophrenia-like behaviour in both male and female rats
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
Schizophrenia is a debilitating and costly mental illness. Many patients do not respond well to currently available treatments, and adverse side effects are common. Cannabidiol (CBD), a natural component of the Cannabis Sativa plant, has been shown to have a number of therapeutic qualities, including potential as a new antipsychotic. Although CBD has been used in several different models of schizophrenia, previous research has failed to consider possible sex differences in responsiveness to the compound. The present research therefore used both male and female rats in the widely used ketamine model of schizophrenia. PVG/C Hooded rats were randomly assigned to one of four experimental conditions: a saline only control group (saline injection followed by second saline injection; N = 6M, 6F); ketamine only group (ketamine injection followed by saline injection; N = 6M, 6F); cannabidiol low dose group (ketamine injection followed by a cannabidiol injection of 10mg/kg; N = 6M, 6F); and a cannabidiol high dose group (ketamine injection followed by a cannabidiol injection of 20mg/kg; N = 6M, 6F). Behavioural testing occurred in a Y-maze and open-field, where both normal and stereotyped behaviours were recorded, as well as locomotor activity and spatial memory. Ketamine successfully induced stereotypy but failed to induce hyperlocomotion. Findings support the potential antipsychotic effects of CBD, particularly for reducing stereotypic behaviour in females. Results found data trends that suggest sex differences in responsiveness to CBD when administered with ketamine, although further research is needed due to lack of statistical significance.