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Vapor Cannabis Exposure Promotes Genetic Plasticity in the Rat Hypothalamus.

Sci Rep. 2019 Nov 14;9(1):16866

Authors: Brutman JN, Zhang S, Choi P, Zhang Y, Stotts MJ, Michal J, Jiang Z, Davis JF

It is well established that cannabis use promotes appetite. However, how cannabis interacts with the brain’s appetite center, the hypothalamus, to stimulate feeding behavior is unknown. A growing body of evidence indicates that the hypothalamic transcriptome programs energy balance. Here, we tested the hypothesis that cannabis targets alternative polyadenylation (APA) sites within hypothalamic transcripts to regulate transcriptomic function. To do this, we used a novel cannabis vapor exposure model to characterize feeding in adult male Long Evans rats and aligned this behavioral response with APA events using a Whole Transcriptome Termini Sequencing (WTTS-Seq) approach as well as functional RNA abundance measurements with real-time quantitative polymerase chain reactions. We found that vapor cannabis exposure promoted food intake in free-feeding and behaviorally sated rats, validating the appetite stimulating properties of cannabis. Our WTTS-Seq analysis mapped 59 unique cannabis-induced hypothalamic APAs that occurred primarily within exons on transcripts that regulate synaptic function, excitatory synaptic transmission, and dopamine signaling. Importantly, APA insertions regulated RNA abundance of Slc6a3, the dopamine transporter, suggesting a novel genetic link for cannabis regulation of brain monoamine function. Collectively, these novel data indicate that a single cannabis exposure rapidly targets a key RNA processing mechanism linked to brain transcriptome function.

PMID: 31728018 [PubMed – in process]

Source: ncbi 2

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Categories: Medical

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