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J Neural Transm. 2009 Aug;116(8):1017-27. doi: 10.1007/s00702-009-0230-0. Epub 2009 May 12.

Short- and long-term consequences of prenatal exposure to the cannabinoid agonist WIN55,212-2 on rat glutamate transmission and cognitive functions.

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  • 1Pharmacology Section and BioPharmaNet TransLab, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Ferrara, Via Fossato di Mortara 17-19, 44100 Ferrara, Italy. frl@unife.it

Abstract

The aim of the present review is to summarize integrated neurochemical, morphological and neurobehavioral evidence, in particular from our laboratory, which emphasize the short- and long-term consequences of prenatal exposure to the cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 on rat glutamate transmission and cognitive functions. The results obtained provide evidence that maternal exposure to WIN55,212-2 induces an impairment of cognitive capacities in the offspring. This impairment is associated with alterations of cortical and hippocampal glutamate outflow, cortical neuron morphology and hippocampal long-term potentiation. These findings are in line with clinical data showing that the consumption of marijuana by women during pregnancy has negative consequences on the cognitive functions of their children. Thus, although it is difficult and sometimes misleading to extrapolate findings obtained from animal models to humans, the possibility that an alteration of glutamate transmission might underlie, at least in part, some of the cognitive deficits affecting the offspring of marijuana users, is supported.

PMID:
19533296
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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