Differential sensitivity to the acute psychotomimetic effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol associated with its differential acute effects on glial function and cortisol.
Psychol Med. 2020 Oct 27;:1-8
Authors: Colizzi M, Weltens N, Lythgoe DJ, Williams SC, Van Oudenhove L, Bhattacharyya S
BACKGROUND: Cannabis use has been associated with psychosis through exposure to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), its key psychoactive ingredient. Although preclinical and human evidence suggests that Δ9-THC acutely modulates glial function and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity, whether differential sensitivity to the acute psychotomimetic effects of Δ9-THC is associated with differential effects of Δ9-THC on glial function and HPA-axis response has never been tested.
METHODS: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study investigated whether sensitivity to the psychotomimetic effects of Δ9-THC moderates the acute effects of a single Δ9-THC dose (1.19 mg/2 ml) on myo-inositol levels, a surrogate marker of glia, in the Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC), and circadian cortisol levels, the key neuroendocrine marker of the HPA-axis, in a set of 16 healthy participants (seven males) with modest previous cannabis exposure.
RESULTS: The Δ9-THC-induced change in ACC myo-inositol levels differed significantly between those sensitive to (Δ9-THC minus placebo; M = -0.251, s.d. = 1.242) and those not sensitive (M = 1.615, s.d. = 1.753) to the psychotomimetic effects of the drug (t(14) = 2.459, p = 0.028). Further, the Δ9-THC-induced change in cortisol levels over the study period (baseline minus 2.5 h post-drug injection) differed significantly between those sensitive to (Δ9-THC minus placebo; M = -275.4, s.d. = 207.519) and those not sensitive (M = 74.2, s.d. = 209.281) to the psychotomimetic effects of the drug (t(13) = 3.068, p = 0.009). Specifically, Δ9-THC exposure lowered ACC myo-inositol levels and disrupted the physiological diurnal cortisol decrease only in those subjects developing transient psychosis-like symptoms.
CONCLUSIONS: The interindividual differences in transient psychosis-like effects of Δ9-THC are the result of its differential impact on glial function and stress response.
PMID: 33107418 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]
Source: ncbi 2