TL neuro

November 30, 2011

THC modulates MDMA-induced hyperthermia

Filed under: Cannabis, MDMA — mtaffe @ 9:34 am

This paper has been accepted for publication:

Taffe, M.A. Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol attenuates MDMA-induced hyperthermia in rhesus monkeys, Neuroscience, Neuroscience, 2012, 201:125-133 Nov 29 2011 [Epub ahead of print]

In this paper we show that Δ9-THC indeed produces hypothermia in freely moving macaque monkeys. Despite extensive literature in rodents (see the tetrad test of cannabinoid action) there were only two previous demonstration in monkeys. Both of those used the chair restrained preparation. We also confirm, using the CB1 antagonist Rimonabant that this effect is specific.

The other important finding was that Δ9-THC reverses temperature elevations induced by MDMA. This was of interest because of a report in human laboratory subjects that inhaled Δ9-THC did not reverse and perhaps even potentiated MDMA-induced hyperthermia (Dumont et al, 2011). Since human users will smoke cannabis as an intentional strategy to modulate the MDMA experience (Levy, et al., 2005), and the infrequent medical emergencies and deaths feature high body temperature, the Dumont et al, 2011 finding was off significant concern. Since Δ9-THC did not affect temperature by itself in the human study, it is possible that the critical difference lies in thermoregulatory plasticity induced by the subjects’ prior cannabis use.

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