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Papers of the Week

Papers: 22 Jun 2024 - 28 Jun 2024


PLoS One




Cannabinoid receptor 1 positive allosteric modulator ZCZ011 shows differential effects on behavior and the endocannabinoid system in HIV-1 Tat transgenic female and male mice.


Yadav-Samudrala BJ, Dodson H, Ramineni S, Kim E, Poklis JL, Lu D, Ignatowska-Jankowska BM, Lichtman AH, Fitting S


The cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1R) is a promising therapeutic target for various neurodegenerative diseases, including HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND). However, the therapeutic potential of CB1R by direct activation is limited due to its psychoactive side effects. Therefore, research has focused on indirectly activating the CB1R by utilizing positive allosteric modulators (PAMs). Studies have shown that CB1R PAMs (ZCZ011 and GAT211) are effective in mouse models of Huntington’s disease and neuropathic pain, and hence, we assess the therapeutic potential of ZCZ011 in a well-established mouse model of neuroHIV. The current study investigates the effect of chronic ZCZ011 treatment (14 days) on various behavioral paradigms and the endocannabinoid system in HIV-1 Tat transgenic female and male mice. Chronic ZCZ011 treatment (10 mg/kg) did not alter body mass, locomotor activity, or anxiety-like behavior regardless of sex or genotype. However, differential effects were noted in hot plate latency, motor coordination, and recognition memory in female mice only, with ZCZ011 treatment increasing hot plate latency and improving motor coordination and recognition memory. Only minor effects or no alterations were seen in the endocannabinoid system and related lipids except in the cerebellum, where the effect of ZCZ011 was more pronounced in female mice. Moreover, AEA and PEA levels in the cerebellum were positively correlated with improved motor coordination in female mice. In summary, these findings indicate that chronic ZCZ011 treatment has differential effects on antinociception, motor coordination, and memory, based on sex and HIV-1 Tat expression, making CB1R PAMs potential treatment options for HAND without the psychoactive side effects.