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Neurobehav Toxicol Teratol. 1986 Jul-Aug;8(4):345-52.

Cannabinoid exposure: effects on development.


The literature concerning the teratologic effects of cannabinoids is reviewed, and some methodological issues associated with perinatal cannabinoid exposure are discussed. The long-term consequences of perinatal cannabinoid exposure on brain, endocrine, immune, and hepatic functions are considered. In our studies, perinatal cannabinoid exposure affected the long-term development of body weight regulation, neuroendocrine function, and adult sexual behaviors. In addition, the immune system and hepatic cytochrome P-450 levels were also influenced in adult male mice perinatally-exposed to cannabinoids. It is hypothesized that these effects may be mediated by cannabinoid-induced alterations in the fetal and/or neonatal hormonal milieu. In addition, the possibility that perinatal cannabinoid administration affects the subsequent ability of the exposed offspring to adapt to the environment is discussed. Finally, possible mechanisms of cannabinoid action in altering development are evaluated. It is concluded that the evidence to date indicates that cannabinoids can be embryocidal, affect gestational length and labor, induce maturational delays, and that these substances affect a myriad of physiological processes in the developing offspring, including effects on behavioral parameters, not only in laboratory animals, but also in the human neonate. Consequences of perinatal cannabinoid exposure on development are described and possible mechanisms of action of cannabinoids are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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