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Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.PNPBP.2020.110064

Sex, species and age: Effects of rodent demographics on the pharmacology of ∆9-tetrahydrocanabinol.

02 Mar 2021-Progress in Neuro-psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry (Elsevier)-Vol. 106, pp 110064-110064
Abstract: Cannabis edibles are becoming more common in an increasingly diverse population of users, and the impact of first pass metabolism on cannabis's pharmacological profile across age and sex is not well understood. The present study examined the impact of age, sex and rodent species on the effects of intraperitoneal (i.p.) delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and its primary psychoactive metabolite, 11-OH-THC, in rodent models of psychoactivity and molecular assays of cannabinoid receptor type-1 (CB1) pharmacology. Like oral THC, i.p. THC also undergoes first pass metabolism. In both species and sexes, 11-OH-THC exhibited marginally higher affinity (~1.5 fold) than THC and both served as partial agonists in [35S]GTPγS binding with equivalent potency; 11-OH-THC exhibited slightly greater efficacy in rat brain tissue. In ICR mice, 11-OH-THC exhibited greater potency than THC in assays of catalepsy (7- to 15-fold) and hypothermia (7- to 31-fold). Further, 11-OH-THC was more potent in THC drug discrimination (7- to 9-fold) in C57Bl/6 J mice, with THC-like discriminative stimulus effects being CB1-, but not CB2-, mediated. THC's discriminative stimulus also was stable across age in mice, as its potency did not change over the course of the experiment (~17 months). While sex differences in THC's effects were not revealed in mice, THC was significantly more potent in females Sprague-Dawley rats than in males trained to discriminate THC from vehicle. This study demonstrates a cross-species in the psychoactive effects of i.p. THC across sex that may be related to differential metabolism of THC into its psychoactive metabolite 11-OH-THC, suggesting that species is a crucial design consideration in the preclinical study of phytocannabinoids.

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Topics: Cannabinoid (55%), Cannabinoid receptor (50%)
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Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.DRUGALCDEP.2021.108827
Abstract: Cannabis users typically smoke or vape cannabis or ingest it in edibles, whereas cannabinoids are typically administered via injection in rodent research. The present study examined the effects of route of administration (ROA) of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive constituent of cannabis. Adult female and male Long Evans rats were trained to discriminate intraperitoneal (i.p.) THC from vehicle in a drug discrimination procedure. Following acquisition, dose-effect curves were determined with THC using i.p., oral (p.o.), and subcutaneous (s.c.) injection in both sexes and aerosol exposure in males only, followed by a time course with one dose for each ROA. Both sexes acquired THC discrimination in a similar number of sessions, although baseline response rates were significantly lower in females than males. THC fully substituted for the 3 mg/kg i.p. training dose across all ROA. While potencies were similar for ROA involving first-pass metabolism (i.p. and p.o.), THC potency was lower with s.c. administration. During the time course analysis, aerosol administration had the shortest latency to onset of discriminative stimulus effects and the shortest duration of effect, whereas s.c. administration had the longest duration. The results of this examination of the effects of ROA on an abuse-related effect of THC provide an empirical foundation to facilitate choice of ROA for mechanistic investigation of THC's pharmacology. Further, animal models using translationally relevant ROA may facilitate more accurate predictions of their effects in humans.

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3 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1007/S00213-021-05886-9
24 Jun 2021-Psychopharmacology
Abstract: Tolerance to cannabinoids could limit their therapeutic potential. Male mice expressing a desensitization-resistant form (S426A/S430A) of the type-1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1R) show delayed tolerance to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (∆9-THC) but not CP55,940. With more women than men using medical cannabis for pain relief, it is essential to understand sex differences in cannabinoid antinociception, hypothermia, and resultant tolerance. Our objective was to determine whether female mice rely on the same molecular mechanisms for tolerance to the antinociceptive and/or hypothermic effects of cannabinoids that we have previously reported in males. We determined whether the S426A/S430A mutation differentially disrupts antinociceptive and/or hypothermic tolerance to CP55,940 and/or Δ9-THC in male and female S426A/S430A mutant and wild-type littermates. The S426A/S430A mutation conferred an enhanced antinociceptive response for ∆9-THC and CP55,940 in both male and female mice. While the S426A/S430A mutation conferred partial resistance to ∆9-THC tolerance in male mice, disruption of CB1R desensitization had no effect on tolerance to ∆9-THC in female mice. The mutation did not alter tolerance to the hypothermic effects of ∆9-THC or CP55,940 in either sex. Interestingly, female mice were markedly less sensitive to the antinociceptive effects of 30 mg/kg ∆9-THC and 0.3 mg/kg CP55,940 compared with male mice. Our results suggest that disruption of the GRK/βarrestin2 pathway of desensitization alters tolerance to Δ9-THC but not CP55,940 in male but not female mice. As tolerance to Δ9-THC appears to develop differently in males and females, sex should be considered when assessing the therapeutic potential and dependence liability of cannabinoids.

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Topics: Cannabinoid (54%), Cannabinoid receptor (51%)

1 Citations


Open accessPosted ContentDOI: 10.1101/2021.05.11.443601
Catherine F. Moore1, Elise M. Weerts1Institutions (1)
13 May 2021-bioRxiv
Abstract: Rationale The legalization of medicinal use of Cannabis sativa in most US states and the removal of hemp from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) controlled substances act has resulted in a proliferation of products containing Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) for oral consumption (e.g., edibles, oils and tinctures) that are being used for recreational and medicinal purposes. Objective This study examined the effects of cannabinoids THC and CBD when administered orally on measures of pain sensitivity, body temperature, locomotor activity, and catalepsy (i.e., cannabinoid tetrad) in male and female Sprague Dawley rats. Methods Rats (N=24, 6 per sex/drug group) were administered THC (1-20 mg/kg), CBD (3-30 mg/kg), or sesame oil via oral gavage. Thermal and mechanical pain sensitivity (tail flick assay, von Frey test), rectal measurements for body temperature, locomotor activity, and the bar-test of catalepsy were completed. A separate group of rats (N=8/4 per sex) were administered morphine (5-20 mg/kg; intraperitoneal, IP) and evaluated for pain sensitivity as a positive control. Results We observed classic tetrad effects of antinociception, hypothermia, hyper- and hypolocomotion, and catalepsy after oral administration of THC that were long lasting (>7 hours). CBD modestly increased mechanical pain sensitivity and produced sex-dependent effects on body temperature and locomotor activity. Conclusions Oral THC and CBD produced long lasting effects, that differed in magnitude and time course when compared with other routes of administration. Examination of cannabinoid effects administered via different routes of administration, species, and in both males and females is critical to enhance translation.

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Topics: Cannabidiol (55%), Cannabinoid (53%), Oral administration (50%)

1 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1002/SYN.22218
13 Jul 2021-Synapse
Abstract: Our prior studies demonstrated that the rat hippocampal opioid system can undergo sex-specific adaptations to external stimuli that can influence opioid-associated learning processes. This opioid system extensively overlaps with the cannabinoid system. Moreover, acute administration of Δ9 Tetrahydrocannabinoid (THC), the primary psychoactive constituent of cannabis, can alter cognitive behaviors that involve the hippocampus. Here we use light and electron microscopic immunocytochemical methods to examine the effects of acute THC (5 mg/kg, i.p. 1 hour) on mossy fiber Leu-Enkephalin (LEnk) levels and the distribution and phosphorylation levels of delta and mu opioid receptors (DORs and MORs, respectively) in CA3 pyramidal cells and parvalbumin dentate hilar interneurons of adult female and male Sprague-Dawley rats. In females with elevated estrogen states (proestrus/estrus stage), acute THC altered the opioid system so that it resembled that seen in vehicle-injected females with low estrogen states (diestrus) and males: 1) mossy fiber LEnk levels in CA2/3a decreased; 2) phosphorylated-DOR levels in CA2/3a pyramidal cells increased; and 3) phosphorylated-MOR levels increased in most CA3b laminae. In males, acute THC resulted in the internalization of MORs in parvalbumin-containing interneuron dendrites which would decrease disinhibition of granule cells. In both sexes, acute THC redistributed DORs to the near plasma membrane of CA3 pyramidal cell dendrites, however, the dendritic region varied with sex. Additionally, acute THC also resulted in a sex-specific redistribution of DORs within CA3 pyramidal cell dendrites which could differentially promote synaptic plasticity and/or opioid-associated learning processes in both females and males. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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Topics: Mossy fiber (hippocampus) (52%), Pyramidal cell (52%), Parvalbumin (51%) ... read more

1 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.NEUROPHARM.2021.108684
15 Sep 2021-Neuropharmacology
Abstract: Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main phytocannabinoid present in the Cannabis sativa. It can produce dose-dependent anxiolytic or anxiogenic effects in males. THC effects on anxiety have scarcely been studied in females, despite their higher prevalence of anxiety disorders. Cannabidiol, another phytocannabinoid, has been reported to attenuate anxiety and some THC-induced effects. The present study aimed to investigate the behavioral and neurochemical effects of THC administered alone or combined with CBD in naturally cycling female rats tested in the elevated plus-maze. Systemically administered THC produced biphasic effects in females, anxiolytic at low doses (0.075 or 0.1 mg/kg) and anxiogenic at a higher dose (1.0 mg/kg). No anxiety changes were observed in males treated with the same THC dose range. The anxiogenic effect of THC was prevented by co-administration of CBD (1.0 or 3.0 mg/kg). CBD (3.0 mg/kg) caused an anxiolytic effect. At a lower dose (1.0 mg/kg), it facilitated the anxiolytic effect of the low THC dose. The anxiogenic effect of THC was accompanied by increased dopamine levels in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and nucleus accumbens (NAc). In contrast, its anxiolytic effect was associated with increased mPFC serotonin concentrations. The anxiolytic effect of CBD was accompanied by increased mPFC serotonin turnover. Together, these results indicate that female rats are susceptible to the biphasic effects of low THC doses on anxiety. These effects could depend on mPFC and NAc dopaminergic and serotoninergic neurotransmissions. CBD could minimize potential THC high-dose side effects whereas enhancing the anxiolytic action of its low doses in females.

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Topics: Anxiogenic (64%), Anxiolytic (63%), Cannabidiol (57%)

1 Citations


References
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52 results found


Open accessBook
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13,165 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/509282A
15 May 2014-Nature
Abstract: Janine A. Clayton and Francis S. Collins unveil policies to ensure that preclinical research funded by the US National Institutes of Health considers females and males.

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1,130 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.2165/00003088-200342040-00003
Abstract: Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main source of the pharmacological effects caused by the consumption of cannabis, both the marijuana-like action and the medicinal benefits of the plant. However, its acid metabolite THC-COOH, the non-psychotropic cannabidiol (CBD), several cannabinoid analogues and newly discovered modulators of the endogenous cannabinoid system are also promising candidates for clinical research and therapeutic uses. Cannabinoids exert many effects through activation of G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors in the brain and peripheral tissues. Additionally, there is evidence for nonreceptor-dependent mechanisms. Natural cannabis products and single cannabinoids are usually inhaled or taken orally; the rectal route, sublingual administration, transdermal delivery, eye drops and aerosols have only been used in a few studies and are of little relevance in practice today. The pharmacokinetics of THC vary as a function of its route of administration. Pulmonary assimilation of inhaled THC causes a maximum plasma concentration within minutes, psychotropic effects start within seconds to a few minutes, reach a maximum after 15–30 minutes, and taper off within 2–3 hours. Following oral ingestion, psychotropic effects set in with a delay of 30–90 minutes, reach their maximum after 2–3 hours and last for about 4–12 hours, depending on dose and specific effect. At doses exceeding the psychotropic threshold, ingestion of cannabis usually causes enhanced well-being and relaxation with an intensification of ordinary sensory experiences. The most important acute adverse effects caused by overdosing are anxiety and panic attacks, and with regard to somatic effects increased heart rate and changes in blood pressure. Regular use of cannabis may lead to dependency and to a mild withdrawal syndrome. The existence and the intensity of possible long-term adverse effects on psyche and cognition, immune system, fertility and pregnancy remain controversial. They are reported to be low in humans and do not preclude legitimate therapeutic use of cannabis-based drugs. Properties of cannabis that might be of therapeutic use include analgesia, muscle relaxation, immunosuppression, sedation, improvement of mood, stimulation of appetite, antiemesis, lowering of intraocular pressure, bronchodilation, neuroprotection and induction of apoptosis in cancer cells.

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Topics: Cannabinoid (59%), Cannabinoid receptor (54%), Cannabidiol (54%) ... read more

915 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1002/CBDV.200790152
Marilyn A. Huestis1Institutions (1)
Abstract: A multitude of roles for the endogenous cannabinoid system has been proposed by recent research efforts. A large number of endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitters or endocannabinoids have been identified, and the CB-1 and CB-2 cannabinoid receptors have been characterized. The presence of other receptors, transporters, and enzymes responsible for the synthesis or metabolism of endocannabinoids are becoming known at an extraordinary pace. The complex functions of this novel system have created multiple new targets for pharmacotherapies. Research has focused on separating the behavioral psychoactive effects of cannabinoid agonists from therapeutic effects. These efforts have been largely unsuccessful. Another strategy centers on changing the pharmacokinetics of drug delivery to maximize therapeutic effect and minimize cognitive and subjective drug effects. Development of oral, rectal, and transdermal medications of synthetic Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)1) are examples of this type of approach. Additionally, the potential therapeutic benefits of administering unique combinations of cannabinoids and other chemicals present in the plant Cannabis sativa is being investigated by the oromucosal route. There also is strong interest in medications based on antagonizing endocannabinoid action. We have shown that the cardiovascular and subjective effects of cannabis are blocked by rimonabant, the first CB-1 cannabinoid-receptor antagonist, documenting that CB-1 receptors mediate these effects of smoked cannabis in humans. It is clear that the endogenous cannabinoid system plays a critical role in physiological and behavioral processes, and extensive research effort is being devoted to the biology, chemistry, pharmacology, and toxicology of cannabinoids. Cannabis is one of the oldest and most commonly abused drugs in the world, and its use is associated with pathological and behavioral toxicity. Thus, it is important to understand cannabinoid pharmacokinetics and the disposition of cannabinoids into biological fluids and tissues. Understanding the pharmacokinetics of a drug is essential to understanding the onset, magnitude, and duration of its pharmacodynamic effects, maximizing therapeutic and minimizing negative side effects. Cannabinoid pharmacokinetics encompasses absorption after diverse routes of administration and from different drug formulations, analyte distribution throughout the body, metabolism by the liver and extra-hepatic tissues, and elimination in the feces, urine, sweat, oral fluid, and hair. Pharmacokinetic processes are dynamic, may change over time, and may be affected by the frequency and magnitude of drug exposure. The many contributions to our understanding of cannabinoid pharmacokinetics from the 1970s and 1980s are reviewed, and the findings of recent research expanding upon this knowledge are detailed. Cannabinoid pharmacokinetics research is challenging due to low analyte concentrations, rapid and extensive metabolism, and physico-chemical characteristics hindering the separation of drugs of interest from biological matrices and from each other. Drug recovery is reduced due to adsorption of compounds of interest to multiple surfaces. Much of the early cannabinoid data are based on radiolabeled cannabinoids yielding highly sensitive, but less specific, measurement of individual cannabinoid analytes. New extraction techniques and mass-spectrometric (MS) developments now permit highly sensitive and specific measurement of cannabinoids in a wide variety of biological matrices, improving our ability to characterize cannabinoid pharmacokinetics. Cannabis sativa contains over 421 different chemical compounds, including over 60 cannabinoids [1-3]. Cannabinoid plant chemistry is far more complex than that of pure THC, and different effects may be expected due to the presence of additional cannabinoids and other chemicals. Eighteen different classes of chemicals, including nitrogenous compounds, amino acids, hydrocarbons, carbohydrates, terpenes, and simple and fatty acids, contribute to the known pharmacological and toxicological properties of cannabis. THC is usually present in Cannabis plant material as a mixture of monocarboxylic acids, which readily and efficiently decarboxylate upon heating. THC decomposes when exposed to air, heat, or light; exposure to acid can oxidize the compound to cannabinol (CBN), a much less-potent cannabinoid. In addition, cannabis plants dried in the sun release variable amounts of THC through decarboxylation. During smoking, more than 2,000 compounds may be produced by pyrolysis. The pharmacokinetics of THC, the primary psychoactive component of cannabis, its metabolites ‘11-hydroxytetrahydrocannabinol’ (11-OH-THC) and ‘11-nor-9-carboxy-tetrahydrocannabinol’ (THC-COOH)]2), and another cannabinoid present in high concentration, cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive agent with an interesting array of potential therapeutic indications, are included. Mechoulam et al. elucidated the structure of THC in 1964, enabling studies of the drug's pharmacokinetics [4]. THC, containing no N-atom, but with two stereogenic centers in a trans configuration, has been described by two different atom-numbering systems, either the dibenzopyran (or Δ9) or the monoterpene (or Δ1) system. In this review, the dibenzopyran (Δ9) system is employed.

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Topics: Cannabinoid (67%), Cannabinol (61%), Cannabinoid receptor (59%) ... read more

611 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/0091-3057(91)90349-7
Billy R. Martin1, D R Compton1, Brian F. Thomas1, W. R. Prescott1  +6 moreInstitutions (5)
Abstract: Numerous cannabinoids have been synthesized that are extremely potent in all of the behavioral assays conducted in our laboratory. An important feature in increasing potency has been the substitution of a dimethylheptyl (DMH) side chain for the pentyl side chain. Our previous studies have shown that (−)-11-OH-Δ8-THC-dimethylheptyl was 80–1150 times more potent than Δ9-THC. Stereospecificity was demonstrated by its (+)- enantiomer which was more than 1400–7500 times less potent. A related series of DMH cannabinoid analogs has recently been synthesized and preliminary evaluations reported here. (−)-11-OH-Δ9-THC-DMH was found to be equipotent with (−)-11-OH-Δ8-THC-DMH. The aldehyde (−)-11-oxo-Δ9-THC-DMH was 15–50 times more potent than Δ9-THC. Surprisingly, (−)-11-carboxy-Δ9-THC-DMH was also active, being slightly more potent than Δ9-THC. In the bicyclic cannabinoid series, the length and bulk of the side chain were found to be equally important. Aminoalkylindoles, which are structurally dissimilar from classical cannabinoids, have been found to exhibit a pharmacological profile similar to Δ9-THC. Though not extremely potent in vivo, they appear to represent an entirely new approach to studying the actions of the cannabinoids. The structural diversity and wide-ranging potencies of the analogs described herein provide the opportunity to develop a pharmacophore for the cannabinoids using molecular modeling techniques.

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Topics: Cannabinoid (52%)

403 Citations