Cannabis is one of the most commonly used substances during pregnancy. The components of cannabis are able to cross the placental barrier. Furthermore, perinatal cannabis exposure in affected offspring has been associated longitudinally with cognitive deficit in the form of attention. Therefore, we hypothesize that developmental Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) exposure affects cognitive flexibility and leads to permanent neuron morphology changes in affected offspring. We propose to test these hypotheses in the offspring of 25 C57BL/6 THC-exposed pregnant mice by conducting a visual discrimination with reversal task (VDR) at post-gestational day 40 (P40), P80, P120 and a Golgi-Cox staining protocol at P140 in pyramidal cortical neurons of layer II/III and VI of the prefrontal cortex. The combination of this behavioural paradigm and the dendrite analysis for length, diameter and volume can provide insight on neurobiological consequences of perinatal cannabis and may lead to the development of therapeutic interventions in affected children.
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