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Early Age-Related Cognitive Impairment in Mice Lacking Cannabinoid CB1 Receptors

A. Bilkei-Gorzo, I. Racz, O. Valverde, M. Otto, K. Michel, M. Sarstre and A. Zimmer
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 102, No. 43, Residential Mobility of Low-Income Populations (Oct. 25, 2005), pp. 15670-15675
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4143493
Page Count: 6
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Early Age-Related Cognitive Impairment in Mice Lacking Cannabinoid CB1 Receptors
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Abstract

The molecular mechanisms contributing to the normal age-related decline of cognitive functions or to pathological learning and memory impairment are largely unknown. We demonstrate here that young mice (6-7 weeks) with a genetic deletion of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor performed as well as WT mice, or often better, in a number of learning and memory paradigms, including animal models of skill-learning, partner recognition, and operant conditioning. In contrast, the performance of mature mice (3-5 months) lacking CB1 receptors was much worse than that of age-matched WT animals. In most tests, these mice performed at the same level as old animals (14-17 months), suggesting that the decline in cognitive functions is accelerated in the absence of CB1 receptors. This rapid decline in CB1 -deficient animals is accompanied by a loss of neurons in the CA1 and CA3 regions of the hippocampus.

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