In JoVE (4)

Other Publications (2)

Articles by Delphine Psychoyos in JoVE

Other articles by Delphine Psychoyos on PubMed

A Cannabinoid Analogue of Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol Disrupts Neural Development in Chick

Birth Defects Research. Part B, Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology. Oct, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 19040278

Marijuana is the most commonly abused illicit drug by pregnant women. Its major psychoactive constituent, Delta(9)-THC (Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol), crosses the placenta and accumulates in the foetus, potentially harming its development. In humans, marijuana use in early pregnancy is associated with miscarriage, a fetal alcohol-like syndrome, as well as learning disabilities, memory impairment, and ADHD in the offspring. Classical studies in the 1970 s have reached disparate conclusions as to the teratogenic effects of cannabinoids in animal models. Further, there is very little known about the immediate effects of Delta(9)-THC on early embryogenesis. We have used the chick embryo as a model in order to characterize the effects of a water-soluble Delta(9)-THC analogue, O-2545, on early development. Embryos were exposed to the drug (0.035 to 0.35 mg/ml) at gastrulation and assessed for morphological defects at stages equivalent to 9-14 somites. We report that O-2545 impairs the formation of brain, heart, somite, and spinal cord primordia. Shorter incubation times following exposure to the drug show that O-2545 interferes with the initial steps of head process and neural plate formation. Our results indicate that the administration of the cannabinoid O-2545 during early embryogenesis results in embryotoxic effects and serves to illuminate the risks of marijuana exposure during the second week of pregnancy, a time point at which most women are unaware of their pregnancies.

Cannabinoid Receptor 1 Signaling in Embryo Neurodevelopment

Birth Defects Research. Part B, Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology. Feb, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22311661

In utero exposure to tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive component of marijuana, is associated with an increased risk for neurodevelopmental defects in the offspring by interfering with the functioning of the endocannabinoid (eCB) system. At the present time, it is not clearly known whether the eCB system is present before neurogenesis. Using an array of biochemical techniques, we analyzed the levels of CB1 receptors, eCBs (AEA and 2-AG), and the enzymes (NAPE-PLD, DAGLα, DAGLβ, MAGL, and FAAH) involved in the metabolism of the eCBs in chick and mouse models during development. The findings demonstrate the presence of eCB system in early embryo before neurogenesis. The eCB system might play a critical role in early embryogenesis and there might be adverse developmental consequences of in utero exposure to marijuana and other drugs of abuse during this period.

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