Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2022 Mar 26. doi: 10.1007/s00213-022-06095-8. Online ahead of print.
RATIONALE: In the USA, nicotine and cannabis are the most common licit and illicit drugs used among pregnant women. Importantly, nicotine and cannabis are now being combined for consumption via e-cigarettes, an increasingly popular delivery device. Both nicotine and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive component of cannabis, cross the placenta barrier. However, the consequences of prenatal cannabis use are not well understood, and less is known about potential combination effects when consumed with nicotine, especially via e-cigarettes.
OBJECTIVE: The present study used a rodent model to examine how prenatal e-cigarette exposure to nicotine, THC, and the combination impacts motor development among offspring.
METHODS: Pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to nicotine (36 mg/mL), THC (100 mg/mL), the combination, or vehicle via e-cigarette inhalation from gestational days (GD) 5-20. One sex pair per litter was tested on an early sensorimotor development task (postnatal days [PD] 12-20) and a parallel bar motor coordination task (PD 30-32).
RESULTS: Combined prenatal exposure to nicotine and THC delayed sensorimotor development, even though neither drug produced impairments on their own. In contrast, prenatal exposure to either nicotine or THC impaired motor coordination, whereas combined exposure exacerbated these effects, particularly among females.
CONCLUSIONS: These data illustrate that prenatal exposure to either nicotine or THC may alter motor development, and that the combination may produce more severe effects. These findings have important implications for pregnant women as we better understand the teratogenic effects of these drugs consumed via e-cigarettes.
Source: ncbi 2