Effect of chronic THC administration in the reproductive organs of male mice, spermatozoa and in vitro fertilization.

Biochemical Pharmacology

“The increased use of cannabis as a therapeutic drug in recent years has raised some concerns due to its potential effects on reproductive health. With regards to the male, the endocannabinoid system is involved in the spermatogenesis and in the sperm function.

The chronic use of tetrahidrocannabinol (THC) has been associated with sperm anomalies, decreased sperm motility and structural changes in the testis. However, whether THC affects sperms ability to fertilize and to generate embryos remains unclear.

The aim of this study was to evaluate this effect using a mice model of THC chronic treatment. For this purpose, a chronic treatment with THC was carried out. Mice were randomly allocated into two groups: an experimental group treated with a daily dose of 10 mg/kg-body weight THC for a period of 30 days and a control group treated with a vehicle.

The THC-mice cortex showed a significant decrease of mRNA of Cnr1 compared to control-mice while, in the testis, the expression of Cnr1 was not affected. The weight of testis and epididymis and the histological analysis did not show any change between groups.

On the other hand, no changes were observed in the sperm motility or the sperm concentration. The chronic use of THC did not generate any methylation change in the three CpG regions of Cnn1 analysed, neither in the brain nor in the embryos generated by in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Finally, the embryo production by IVF was no different using spermatozoa from both THC and control mice. This work contradicts the belief that THC consumption has a negative effect on male reproductive processes.”

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