AUG 30, 2019 10:04 AM PDT

Marijuana Has Possible Transgenerational Effects

WRITTEN BY: C Reardon

Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit psychoactive drug in both the United States and Europe, meaning that many parents, or potential parents, are using the drug regularly. For that reason, scientists have been trying to identify the potential risks of marijuana exposure for both parents and their offspring.

Research has found that parental cannabis use is potentially associated with adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in their children. However, understanding how phenotypes are transmitted still remains more of a mystery.

Photo Source: pixabay.com

In a study of 24 men and 15 rats, scientists were able to prove that marijuana has a possible transgenerational effect, as it is linked to widespread DNA methylation changes in human sperm. Specifically the research found that men who had been exposed to marijuana were potentially linked to the passing on of sperm with an autism-associated gene with extra epigenetic marks. This gene is called DLGAP2 – a gene that is also associated with schizophrenia or post-traumatic stress disorder.

The group of Duke scientists, led by Susan Murphy, PhD, report that this research does not establish a definitive link to the autism gene, but that the possible connection gives reason for further studies. Their detailed findings were published in the August journal Epigenetics.

The study states, “we successfully validated the differential methylation present in DLGAP2 for nine CpG sites located in intron seven using quantitative bisulphite pyrosequencing. Adult male rats exposed to THC showed differential DNA methylation at DLGAP2 in sperm, as did the nucleus accumbens of rats whose fathers exposed to THC prior to conception.”

Other recent findings in this area include a sex-based difference in the relationship between DNA methylation and gene expression in human brain tissue in both males and females, proving decreased gene activity associated with increased DNA methylation. Research found that this relationship was less maintained in males than females, which is a notable finding with ratio of boys to girls with autism at 4:1.

Photo source: pixabay.com

 

About the Author
  • Chelsey is a content strategist and copywriter with a business degree. She has a background in public relations and marketing and enjoys writing about various topics, from health, to lifestyle, to women’s issues. Since 2016, she has written for a variety of online publications, earning well over 100,000 shares. She published her first book in 2019.
You May Also Like
APR 21, 2020
Health & Medicine
APR 21, 2020
How to Read COVID-19 News (Without Going Crazy)
  It can feel like COVID-19 news is consuming the country, and taking all the toilet paper and N95-masks with it. N ...
APR 24, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
APR 24, 2020
Using Wastewater to Identify COVID-19 Hotspots
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is now known to have infected over 2.7 million individuals and killed at least 194,000.
APR 25, 2020
Cardiology
APR 25, 2020
Young People with COVID-19 Die from Stroke
Hospitals around the US have reported that people aged between 20 and 50 with no risk factors are dying from strokes aft ...
MAY 04, 2020
Cardiology
MAY 04, 2020
Machine Learning May Help in the Diagnosis of Inherited High Cholesterol
Familial hypercholesterolemia, or FH, is an inherited genetic mutation in how the body recycles LDL cholesterol (bad cho ...
MAY 09, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
MAY 09, 2020
Blood test monitors fat intake
Research published in the Journal of Lipid Research highlights a new blood test that is able to monitor an individual&rs ...
MAY 20, 2020
Cardiology
MAY 20, 2020
Hearts Beat Differently to Music
Does some music relax you, does other music excite you? There is a physiological response to music, and your heart may b ...
Loading Comments...