Effects of cannabinoids on the development of chick embryos in ovo
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
We have examined the effects of the synthetic cannabinoids HU 210 and HU 211, the plant-derived cannabidiol and the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide on the viability and development of chick embryos. Fertilized White Leghorn chicken eggs were injected with the test compounds or carrier vehicle, via a drilled small hole in the blunt end of the egg, directly into the egg yolk. After nine days of exposure, the embryonal viability and development stages were assessed according to the Hamburger and Hamilton (HH) scale. The potent synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist HU 210 and the non-psychotropic cannabidiol were embryotoxic at the highest concentrations examined (10 µM and 50 µM, respectively), with no viable embryos (average HH stage 19 ± 3.5 compared to 34 ± 1.1 in the DMSO-treated control group) after the HU 210 injection, and 22% viability (average HH stage 11 ± 4.9) after cannabidiol injections. The effects of HU 210 on the chick embryo were attenuated by 100 µM of the antioxidant α-tocopherol and the cannabinoid receptor antagonist AM251 (1 µM), whereas only α-tocopherol gave a statistically significant protection against the embryotoxic effects of cannabidiol. HU 211, an enantiomer to HU 210 without cannabinoid receptor activity, and anandamide were without any significant effects on the viability and development of the chick embryo at the concentrations examined (up to 10 µM and 50 µM, respectively).
This study shows that exposure to both plant-derived and synthetic cannabinoids during early embryonal development decreased embryonal viability. Extrapolation of data across species is of course difficult, but the data would argue against the use of cannabinoids, be it recreationally or therapeutically, during pregnancy.
cannabinoids, chick embryo, viability, Hamburger-Hamilton scale, α-tocopherol
Pharmacology and Toxicology
Research subject Toxicology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-51558OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-51558DiVA: diva2:484047