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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Progesterone receptor and dopamine receptors are required in Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol modulation of sexual receptivity in female rats.

Ovarian steroids, estrogen and progesterone, influence the sensitivity of certain neural processes to cannabinoid treatment by modulation of brain dopaminergic activity. We examined the effects of the active ingredient of cannabis, Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), on sexual behavior in female rats and its influence on steroid hormone receptors and neurotransmitters in the facilitation of sexual receptivity. Our results revealed that the facilitatory effect of THC was inhibited by antagonists to both progesterone and dopamine D(1) receptors. To test further the idea that progesterone receptors ( PR) and/or dopamine receptors (D(1)R) in the hypothalamus are required for THC-facilitated sexual behavior in rodents, antisense and sense oligonucleotides to PR and D(1)R were administered intracerebroventricularly (ICV) into the third cerebral ventricle of ovariectomized, estradiol benzoate-primed rats. Progesterone- and THC-facilitated sexual behavior was inhibited in animals treated with antisense oligonucleotides to PR or to D(1)R. Antagonists to cannabinoid receptor-1 subtype (CB(1)), but not to cannabinoid receptor-2 subtype (CB(2)) inhibited progesterone- and dopamine-facilitated sexual receptivity in female rats. Our studies indicate that THC acts on the CB(1) cannabinoid receptor to initiate a signal transduction response that requires both membrane dopamine and intracellular progesterone receptors for effective induction of sexual behavior.[1]


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