CB1 Activity Drives the Selection of Navigational Strategies: A Behavioral and c-Fos Immunoreactivity Study

Daniela Laricchiuta, Francesca Balsamo, Carlo Fabrizio, Anna Panuccio, Andrea Termine, Laura Petrosini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To promote efficient explorative behaviors, subjects adaptively select spatial navigational strategies based on landmarks or a cognitive map. The hippocampus works alone or in conjunction with the dorsal striatum, both representing the neuronal underpinnings of the navigational strategies organized on the basis of different systems of spatial coordinate integration. The high expression of cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors in structures related to spatial learning-such as the hippocampus, dorsal striatum and amygdala-renders the endocannabinoid system a critical target to study the balance between landmark- and cognitive map-based navigational strategies. In the present study, mice treated with the CB1-inverse agonist/antagonist AM251 or vehicle were trained on a Circular Hole Board, a task that could be solved through either navigational strategy. At the end of the behavioral testing, c-Fos immunoreactivity was evaluated in specific nuclei of the hippocampus, dorsal striatum and amygdala. AM251 treatment impaired spatial learning and modified the pattern of the performed navigational strategies as well as the c-Fos immunoreactivity in the hippocampus, dorsal striatum and amygdala. The present findings shed light on the involvement of CB1 receptors as part of the selection system of the navigational strategies implemented to efficiently solve the spatial problem.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 6 2020


  • AM251
  • amygdala
  • Circular Hole Board
  • dorsal striatum
  • endocannabinoid system
  • hippocampus
  • mice
  • spatial learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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