A chronic low dose of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) restores cognitive function in old mice.

Abstract:

:The balance between detrimental, pro-aging, often stochastic processes and counteracting homeostatic mechanisms largely determines the progression of aging. There is substantial evidence suggesting that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is part of the latter system because it modulates the physiological processes underlying aging. The activity of the ECS declines during aging, as CB1 receptor expression and coupling to G proteins are reduced in the brain tissues of older animals and the levels of the major endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) are lower. However, a direct link between endocannabinoid tone and aging symptoms has not been demonstrated. Here we show that a low dose of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) reversed the age-related decline in cognitive performance of mice aged 12 and 18 months. This behavioral effect was accompanied by enhanced expression of synaptic marker proteins and increased hippocampal spine density. THC treatment restored hippocampal gene transcription patterns such that the expression profiles of THC-treated mice aged 12 months closely resembled those of THC-free animals aged 2 months. The transcriptional effects of THC were critically dependent on glutamatergic CB1 receptors and histone acetylation, as their inhibition blocked the beneficial effects of THC. Thus, restoration of CB1 signaling in old individuals could be an effective strategy to treat age-related cognitive impairments.

journal_name

Nat Med

journal_title

Nature medicine

authors

Bilkei-Gorzo A,Albayram O,Draffehn A,Michel K,Piyanova A,Oppenheimer H,Dvir-Ginzberg M,Rácz I,Ulas T,Imbeault S,Bab I,Schultze JL,Zimmer A

doi

10.1038/nm.4311

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2017-06-01 00:00:00

pages

782-787

issue

6

eissn

1078-8956

issn

1546-170X

pii

nm.4311

journal_volume

23

pub_type

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