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
JAN 20, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
JAN 20, 2020
Epigenetic Changes Make Breast Cancer Cells Drug Resistant
Researchers have found that changes in the structure of the genome in breast cancer cells can make them resistant to drug therapies....
JAN 24, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
JAN 24, 2020
As Sperm Mature, They Scan Their DNA and Repair Errors They FInd
Researchers have learned that when sperm cells mature, they activate many of their genes, which enables a repair process to take place....
JAN 26, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
JAN 26, 2020
Using Stem Cells to Treat Chronic Pain
Scientists have used a mouse model to show that human stem cells could be used to engineer neurons that stop pain....
JAN 30, 2020
Microbiology
JAN 30, 2020
25% of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Can Spread Resistance Directly to Other Microbes
This research also suggests that antibiotics do not increase the rate at which bacteria acquire drug resistance genes....
FEB 07, 2020
Neuroscience
FEB 07, 2020
Eating Fruits and Vegetables May Lower Alzheimer's Risk
New research has found that flavonols, a large class of compounds present in many fruits and vegetables, may be linked to a lower risk of developing Alzhei...
FEB 10, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
FEB 10, 2020
Lighting a Path to an Alzheimer's Disease Treatment
Alzheimer's impacts millions of people around the world; globally, it is thought to cost $605 billion a year, and there is still no way to treat it....
Loading Comments...