Endocannabinoid signaling mediates oxytocin-driven social reward.

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“Marijuana exerts profound effects on human social behavior, but the neural substrates underlying such effects are unknown. Here we report that social contact increases, whereas isolation decreases, the mobilization of the endogenous marijuana-like neurotransmitter, anandamide, in the mouse nucleus accumbens (NAc), a brain structure that regulates motivated behavior. The results indicate that anandamide-mediated signaling at CB1¬†receptors, driven by oxytocin, controls social reward. Deficits in this signaling mechanism may contribute to social impairment in autism spectrum disorders and might offer an avenue to treat these conditions.” ¬†http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26504214

“In conclusion, our results illuminate a mechanism underlying the prosocial actions of oxytocin, and provide unexpected insights on possible neural substrates involved in the social facilitation caused by marijuana. Pharmacological modulation of oxytocin-driven anandamide signaling (by using, for example, FAAH inhibitors) might open new avenues to treat social impairment in autism spectrum disorders.” ¬†https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4653148/

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