Refraining from use diminishes cannabis-associated epigenetic changes in human sperm.

Abstract

Cannabis use alters sperm DNA methylation, but the potential reversibility of these changes is unknown. Semen samples from cannabis users and non-user controls were collected at baseline and again following a 77-day period of cannabis abstinence (one spermatogenic cycle). Users and controls did not significantly differ by demographics or semen analyses. Whole-genome bisulfite sequencing identified 163 CpG sites with significantly different DNA methylation in sperm between groups (P < 2.94 × 10-9). Genes associated with altered CpG sites were enriched with those involved in development, including cardiogenesis and neurodevelopment. Many of the differences in sperm DNA methylation between groups were diminished after cannabis abstinence. These results indicate that sustained cannabis abstinence significantly reduces the number of sperm showing cannabis-associated alterations at genes important for early development.

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Citation

Published Version (Please cite this version)

10.1093/eep/dvab009

Publication Info

Schrott, Rose, Susan K Murphy, Jennifer L Modliszewski, Dillon E King, Bendu Hill, Nilda Itchon-Ramos, Douglas Raburn, Thomas Price, et al. (2021). Refraining from use diminishes cannabis-associated epigenetic changes in human sperm. Environmental epigenetics, 7(1). p. dvab009. 10.1093/eep/dvab009 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/28268.

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Scholars@Duke

Raburn

Douglas Joe Raburn

Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Dr. Raburn is the Director of the Assisted Reproductive Technology Laboratories at the Duke Fertility Center. As part of the multidisciplinary team within the Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility division, he specializes in optimizing outcomes for patients who require assisted reproduction for current and future family building.  His research focuses on gamete, embryo and reproductive tissue biology.

Price

Thomas Michael Price

Professor Emeritus of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Dr. Price is involved in both clinical and basic science research. The main focus of the basic science molecular endocrinology laboratory is the study of novel sex steroid receptors. Currently, the work focuses on a novel progesterone receptor that localizes to the mitochondrion. Studies including RNAi in cell models and creation of transgenic mice are ongoing to discover the function of this receptor. The overall hypothesis is that progesterone modulates mitochondrial activity to meet the increased cellular energy demands of pregnancy via this receptor.
Dr. Price also participates in clinical research endeavors. These projects are constantly changing and focus on many aspects of reproductive endocrinology including ovarian preservation during chemotherapy, treatments for menorrhagia, endometriosis, leiomyomata and infertility.

Levin

Edward Daniel Levin

Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Levin is Chief of the Neurobehavioral Research Lab in the Psychiatry Department of Duke University Medical Center. His primary academic appointment is as Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He also has secondary appointments in the Department Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke. His primary research effort is to understand basic neural interactions underlying cognitive function and addiction and to apply this knowledge to better understand cognitive dysfunction and addiction disorders and to develop novel therapeutic treatments.

The three main research components of his laboratory are focused on the themes of the basic neurobiology of cognition and addiction, neurobehavioral toxicology and the development of novel therapeutic treatments for cognitive dysfunction and substance abuse. Currently, our principal research focus concerns nicotine. We have documented the basic effects of nicotine on learning memory and attention as well as nicotine self-administration. We are continuing with more mechanistic studies in rat models using selective lesions, local infusions and neurotransmitter interaction studies. We have found that nicotine improves memory performance not only in normal rats, but also in rats with lesions of hippocampal and basal forebrain connections. We are concentrating on alpha7 and alpha4beta2 nicotinic receptor subtypes in the hippocampus, amygdala , thalamus and frontal cortex and how they interact with dopamine D1 and D2 and glutamate NMDA systems with regard to memory and addiction. I am also conducting studies on human cognitive behavior. We have current studies to assess nicotine effects on attention, memory and mental processing speed in schizophrenia, Alzheimer's Disease and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. In the area of neurobehavioral toxicology, I have continuing projects to characterize the adverse effects of prenatal and adolescent nicotine exposure. Our primary project in neurobehavioral toxicology focuses on the cognitive deficits caused by the marine toxins. The basic and applied aims of our research complement each other nicely. The findings concerning neural mechanisms underlying cognitive function help direct the behavioral toxicology and therapeutic development studies, while the applied studies provide important functional information concerning the importance of the basic mechanisms under investigation.

Kollins

Scott Haden Kollins

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Scott H. Kollins, PhD received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Duke and his Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Clinical Psychology from Auburn University. After completing his clinical internship at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where he served as Chief Intern, he joined the faculty of the Department of Psychology at Western Michigan University for three years, before joining the Duke faculty in 2000. Dr. Kollins has published more than 125 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals.  Over the past 10 years, his research has been supported by 6 different federal agencies, including NICHD, NIDA, NIMH, NIEHS, NINDS, and EPA, and he currently holds a mid-career K24 award from NIDA.  He has also served as PI on more than 40 industry-funded clinical trials and is a consultant to a number of pharmaceutical companies in the area of ADHD clinical psychopharmacology.  He has served as a standing member of the Child Psychopathology and Developmental Disabilities study section and also served as an ad-hoc reviewer for 10 additional NIH study sections and 7 international granting agencies. He is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Attention Disorders and has reviewed for more than 50 different peer-reviewed journals. He is an elected member of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence and the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. Dr. Kollins is a licensed clinical psychologist and maintains a practice through the ADHD Program’s outpatient clinic. His research interests are in the areas of psychopharmacology and the intersection of ADHD and substance abuse, particularly cigarette smoking.

Mitchell

John T Mitchell

Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

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