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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1984 Jan;20(1):107-13.

Early cannabinoid exposure influences neuroendocrine and reproductive functions in male mice: I. Prenatal exposure.


Maternal exposure to delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major psychoactive constituent in marihuana, or to the non-psychoactive cannabinol (CBN) or cannabidiol (CBD) alters endocrine functions and concentrations of brain biogenic amines in their male offspring. Prenatal CBN exposure on day 18 of gestation resulted in decreased plasma FSH levels, testicular testosterone (T) concentrations, and seminal vesicles weights, but increased plasma levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) post-castration in adulthood. Prenatal exposure to THC significantly enhanced the responsiveness of the testes to intratesticular LH injection in vivo and tended to increase human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)-stimulated T production by decapsulated testes in vitro. In the CBN-exposed mice, hCG-stimulated T production was enhanced, while CBD exposure had no effect. Prenatal THC exposure altered the negative feedback effects of exogenous gonadal steroids in castrated adults, with lower plasma T and FSH levels after 20 micrograms T than in castrated controls. In contrast, CBD-exposed mice had higher levels of LH in plasma post-castration. In CBN-exposed adults, two weeks post-castration the concentration of norepinephrine (NE) and dopamine (DA) in hypothalamus and remaining brain were reduced, while levels of serotonin (5-HT) and its metabolite, 5-HIAA, were elevated compared to that in castrated OIL-controls. Prenatal CBD-exposure also reduced NE and elevated 5-HT and 5-HIAA, but did not affect DA levels post-castration. Concentrations of brain biogenic amines were not influenced by prenatal THC exposure in the present study. A single prenatal exposure to psychoactive or non-psychoactive components of marihuana results in long term alterations in the function of the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis. Changes in the concentrations of brain biogenic amines may be related to these effects of prenatal cannabinoids on endocrine function in adult male mice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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