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Neuropsychopharmacology. 2020 Jan 26. doi: 10.1038/s41386-020-0621-3. [Epub ahead of print]

Long-term hippocampal interneuronopathy drives sex-dimorphic spatial memory impairment induced by prenatal THC exposure.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Instituto Ramón y Cajal de Investigación Sanitaria (IRYCIS), Instituto Universitario de Investigación Neuroquímica (IUIN), Complutense University, 28040, Madrid, Spain. a.salas@ucm.es.
2
Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red sobre Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas (CIBERNED), 28049, Madrid, Spain. a.salas@ucm.es.
3
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Instituto Ramón y Cajal de Investigación Sanitaria (IRYCIS), Instituto Universitario de Investigación Neuroquímica (IUIN), Complutense University, 28040, Madrid, Spain.
4
Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red sobre Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas (CIBERNED), 28049, Madrid, Spain.
5
Instituto Cajal, CSIC, Avda Dr Arce 37, 28002, Madrid, Spain.
6
Integrative Pharmacology and Systems Neuroscience Research Group, Neurosciences Research Program, Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute, Barcelona, Spain.
7
Department of Pharmacology, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU and Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental (CIBERSAM), Leioa, Spain.
8
Institute of Physiological Chemistry, University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, Germany.
9
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Instituto Ramón y Cajal de Investigación Sanitaria (IRYCIS), Instituto Universitario de Investigación Neuroquímica (IUIN), Complutense University, 28040, Madrid, Spain. igr@quim.ucm.es.
10
Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red sobre Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas (CIBERNED), 28049, Madrid, Spain. igr@quim.ucm.es.

Abstract

Prenatal exposure to Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most prominent active constituent of cannabis, alters neurodevelopmental plasticity with a long-term functional impact on adult offspring. Specifically, THC affects the development of pyramidal neurons and GABAergic interneurons via cannabinoid CB1 receptors (CB1R). However, the particular contribution of these two neuronal lineages to the behavioral alterations and functional deficits induced by THC is still unclear. Here, by using conditional CB1R knockout mice, we investigated the neurodevelopmental consequences of prenatal THC exposure in adulthood, as well as their potential sex differences. Adult mice that had been exposed to THC during embryonic development showed altered hippocampal oscillations, brain hyperexcitability, and spatial memory impairment. Remarkably, we found a clear sexual dimorphism in these effects, with males being selectively affected. At the neuronal level, we found a striking interneuronopathy of CCK-containing interneurons in the hippocampus, which was restricted to male progeny. This THC-induced CCK-interneuron reduction was not evident in mice lacking CB1R selectively in GABAergic interneurons, thus pointing to a cell-autonomous THC action. In vivo electrophysiological recordings of hippocampal LFPs revealed alterations in hippocampal oscillations confined to the stratum pyramidale of CA1 in male offspring. In addition, sharp-wave ripples, a major high-frequency oscillation crucial for learning and memory consolidation, were also altered, pointing to aberrant circuitries caused by persistent reduction of CCK+ basket cells. Taken together, these findings provide a mechanistic explanation for the long-term interneuronopathy responsible for the sex-dimorphic cognitive impairment induced by prenatal THC.

PMID:
31982904
DOI:
10.1038/s41386-020-0621-3

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