The ABC transporters P-glycoprotein (P-gp, Abcb1) and breast cancer resistance protein (Bcrp, Abcg2) regulate the CNS disposition of many drugs. The main psychoactive constituent of cannabis Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has affinity for P-gp and Bcrp, however it is unknown whether these transporters modulate the brain accumulation of THC and its functional effects on the CNS. Here we aim to show that mice devoid of Abcb1 and Abcg2retain higher brain THC levels and are more sensitive to cannabinoid-induced hypothermia than wild-type (WT) mice.Abcb1a/b (−/−), Abcg2 (−/−) and wild-type (WT) mice were injected with THC before brain and blood were collected and THC concentrations determined. Another cohort of mice was examined for THC-induced hypothermia by measuring rectal body temperature. Brain THC concentrations were higher in bothAbcb1a/b (−/−) and Abcg2 (−/−) mice than WT mice. ABC transporter knockout mice exhibited delayed elimination of THC from the brain with the effect being more prominent in Abcg2 (−/−) mice. ABC transporter knockout mice were more sensitive to THC-induced hypothermia compared to WT mice. These results show P-gp and Bcrp prolong the brain disposition and hypothermic effects of THC and offer a novel mechanism for both genetic vulnerability to the psychoactive effects of cannabis and drug interactions between CNS therapies and cannabis.
Read full study here