Synapse. 2021 Jul 13. doi: 10.1002/syn.22218. Online ahead of print.
Our prior studies demonstrated that the rat hippocampal opioid system can undergo sex-specific adaptations to external stimuli that can influence opioid-associated learning processes. This opioid system extensively overlaps with the cannabinoid system. Moreover, acute administration of Δ9 Tetrahydrocannabinoid (THC), the primary psychoactive constituent of cannabis, can alter cognitive behaviors that involve the hippocampus. Here we use light and electron microscopic immunocytochemical methods to examine the effects of acute THC (5 mg/kg, i.p. 1 hour) on mossy fiber Leu-Enkephalin (LEnk) levels and the distribution and phosphorylation levels of delta and mu opioid receptors (DORs and MORs, respectively) in CA3 pyramidal cells and parvalbumin dentate hilar interneurons of adult female and male Sprague-Dawley rats. In females with elevated estrogen states (proestrus/estrus stage), acute THC altered the opioid system so that it resembled that seen in vehicle-injected females with low estrogen states (diestrus) and males: 1) mossy fiber LEnk levels in CA2/3a decreased; 2) phosphorylated-DOR levels in CA2/3a pyramidal cells increased; and 3) phosphorylated-MOR levels increased in most CA3b laminae. In males, acute THC resulted in the internalization of MORs in parvalbumin-containing interneuron dendrites which would decrease disinhibition of granule cells. In both sexes, acute THC redistributed DORs to the near plasma membrane of CA3 pyramidal cell dendrites, however, the dendritic region varied with sex. Additionally, acute THC also resulted in a sex-specific redistribution of DORs within CA3 pyramidal cell dendrites which could differentially promote synaptic plasticity and/or opioid-associated learning processes in both females and males. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Source: ncbi 2