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Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 1987;9(2-3):319-31.

The effect of subacute marijuana smoke inhalation on experimentally induced dermonecrosis by S. aureus infection.

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Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University, MS 38677.


Dermonecrosis was induced in ICR mice by subcutaneous implantation of Staphylococcus aureus absorbed onto sterile cotton pellets. This model was used to assess the effects of marijuana smoke, marijuana placebo smoke and delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta 9-THC) on the local immune response to bacterial infection. Mice were exposed to 40 or 80 "puffs" of marijuana smoke, marijuana placebo smoke or air daily for 4 consecutive days. The estimated dose of delta 9THC per day generated from 40 or 80 puffs of marijuana smoke was 3.2 and 6.4 mg/kg, respectively. A group of sentinel (Shelf) control mice were included in each experiment. The necrotic index (NI) of mice exposed to 40 or 80 puffs of marijuana smoke were 67% and 44% of control, respectively. Air exposed mice showed a necrotic index comparable to the shelf control group. In chronically (60 days) exposed mice (80 puffs per day) the necrotic index was about 12% of control, while air-exposed mice were about 40% of control. Placebo marijuana smoke exposed mice had a NI comparable to that of marijuana smoke exposed mice which suggested that the reduction in NI was unrelated to the pychomimetic component delta 9THC. To further explore which of the constituents of marijuana were responsible for the decreased NI, the ethanol extract from marijuana leaves was partioned between water (cannabinoid free) and chloroform (cannabinoid rich). Injection of the cannabinoid free fraction produced comparable decrease in the NI as observed with whole marijuana smoke, while the cannabinoid rich fraction produced no effect. delta 9THC at a dose of 10 mg/kg per day did not alter the NI.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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