Administration of Δ 9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Following Controlled Cortical Impact Restores Hippocampal-Dependent Working Memory and Locomotor Function

“Hypothesis: Administration of the phytocannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) will enhance brain repair and improve short-term spatial working memory in mice following controlled cortical impact (CCI) by upregulating granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and other neurotrophic factors (brain-derived neurotrophic factor [BDNF], glial-derived neurotrophic factor [GDNF]) in hippocampus (HP), cerebral cortex, and striatum. Results: Δ9-THC-treated mice exhibited marked improvement in performance on the Y-maze indicating that treatment with the phytocannabinoid could reverse the deficit in working memory caused by the CCI. Δ9-THC-treated mice ran on the rotarod longer than vehicle-treated mice and recovered to normal rotarod performance levels at 2 weeks. Δ9-THC-treated mice, compared with vehicle-treated animals, exhibited significant upregulation of G-CSF as well as BDNF and GDNF in the cerebral cortex, striatum, and HP. Levels of 2-AG were also increased in the Δ9-THC-treated mice. Conclusion: Administration of the phytocannabinoid Δ9-THC promotes significant functional recovery from traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the realms of working memory and locomotor function. This beneficial effect is associated with upregulation of brain 2-AG, G-CSF, BDNF, and GDNF. The latter three neurotrophic factors have been previously shown to mediate brain self-repair following TBI and stroke.”

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