Navigation Links
Marijuana increases alcohol toxicity in young rats
Date:4/8/2008

Marijuana is among the most frequently used illicit drugs by women during their childbearing years and there is growing concern that marijuana abuse during pregnancy, either alone or in combination with other drugs, may have serious effects on fetal brain development. There is strong evidence that THC, the main psychoactive component of marijuana, crosses the placenta, that maternal marijuana abuse results in intrauterine growth retardation and that infants exposed to marijuana exhibit a temporary syndrome that includes lethargy and decreased muscle tone. Fetal exposure to THC can also result in attention deficits, learning disabilities and behavioral problems. A new study using rats found that THC combined with mildly intoxicating doses of alcohol induced widespread nerve cell death in the brain. The study is published in the Annals of Neurology (http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/ana), the official journal of the American Neurological Association.

Led by Henrik Hansen and Chrysanthy Ikonomidou, at the Neuroscience Research Center of the Humboldt University in Berlin and the Department of Pediatric Neurology, University of Technology Dresden, Germany, researchers administered THC, a synthetic form of THC, ethanol, MK-801 (an anticonvulsant) and phenobarbital by injection to rats between 1 and 14 days old. A previous study by the same group had shown that ethanol and drugs such as sedatives, anesthetics and anticonvulsants triggered widespread nerve cell death in the developing brain of immature rodents; the current study was conducted to determine if cannabinoids had the same effect.

The results showed that THC and its synthetic form did not cause neurodegeneration when administered alone but did cause cell death when given with lower than toxic amounts of ethanol. This combined effect increased according to the dose of THC that was administered and was strongest when the rats were 7 days old. THC also enhanced the neurotoxic effect of phenobarbital and MK-801 (ethanol combines the mechanism of action used by these two drugs). In addition, marijuana activates CB1 receptor levels, which causes the psychomotor, memory, cognition and pain perception changes seen with this substance in adult humans and animals. In the current study, THC combined with ethanol increased these levels, and the CB1 receptor blocker Rimonabant, an anti-obesity drug that may be beneficial in treating addiction, reduced these levels. Mice that did not have functioning CB1 receptors (knockout mice) were less susceptible to the neurotoxic effects of ethanol.

Neuronal degeneration became disseminated and very severe when THC was combined with a mildly toxic ethanol dose, the authors state, adding that since this effect was completely counteracted with the CB1 receptor blocker Rimonabant, the activation of these receptors is responsible for ethanols increased toxicity. They note that experimental evidence suggests that endocannabinoid (compounds similar to cannabinoids that are naturally produced in the body) signaling may be involved in developmental processes such as cell proliferation and survival during the formation of the central nervous system, which would account for the age-dependent effect of the THC/ethanol combination seen in this study.

The authors acknowledge that the effect of cannabinoids on the neurotoxicity of ethanol on the developing brain requires further studies with longer survival periods. With the use of behavioral and stereological techniques such studies would explore whether acute changes reflect permanent neuronal loss and lead to behavioural deficits, they conclude. The results of the acute studies have interesting potential therapeutic implications including the use of CB1 receptor antagonists for preventing brain damage in fetuses and neonates exposed to ethanol, sedative and/or anticonvulsant drugs.


'/>"/>

Contact: Amy Molnar
amolnar@wiley.com
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Some moms quit cigarettes, marijuana, alcohol during pregnancy, but dads dont
2. Scripps research team wins $4M grant to study effects of chronic marijuana use
3. Small study shows marijuana does not increase risk of head, neck cancer
4. Drug use trends affect risk of marijuana in deviance prone boys, but not girls
5. Marijuana Use Among MS Patients Raises Risk for Cognitive, Mood Problems
6. Quitting Marijuana Just as Hard as Quitting Cigarettes
7. Heavy marijuana use linked to gum disease
8. Marijuana Bad for the Gums
9. Regular marijuana use increases risk of hepatitis C-related liver damage
10. Marijuana withdrawal as bad as withdrawal from cigarettes
11. Marijuana-like brain chemicals work as antidepressant
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... Randall, PharmD ‘17, and Jennifer Huggins, PharmD ’17, along with clinical associate ... primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases during the 15th Annual Women’s Health Conference. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse ... Market. Featuring a collection of specialty vendors and unique items from across the nation, ... quality-focused health and wellness services offered by the VNA. The boutique will be ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Talented host, ... lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," which is an ... and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... First Healthcare Compliance ... management, will showcase a range of technology and learning solutions at the 68th ... and Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Resort ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( https://isocomforter.com ... introduction of an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. The shoulder pad ... comfort while controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice and water ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... Oct. 2, 2017 The Rebound mobile app is ... to reverse the tide of prescription drug addiction. The app ... medicine intake and stepping down their dosage in a safe, ... in December 2017; the first 100,000 people to sign up ... http://www.rebound-solution.com/ ...
(Date:9/27/2017)... 27, 2017  Commended for their devotion to personalized service, ... as number one in the South Florida Business Journal,s 50 ... 5000 yearly list, the national specialty pharmacy has found its ... will soon be honored by SFBJ as the 2017 ... Set to receive his award in October, Bardisa said ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... PROVIDENCE, R.I. , Sept. 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... immunogenicity assessment, vaccine design, and immune-engineering today announced ... focused on the development of personalized therapeutic cancer ... and has provided exclusive access to enabling technologies ... MSc Eng., MBA will lead EpiVax Oncology as ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: