Studies on the role of cannabinoids on dopamine transporter function: an optical method

Elobi, Dilichukwu (2014). Studies on the role of cannabinoids on dopamine transporter function: an optical method. University of Birmingham. M.Sc.

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Dopamine transporters (DAT) as well as other monoamine transporters are targets for several antipsychotic drugs of abuse thereby making them a potential target for regulation of neurotransmitters in the body. Cannabis Sativa is a known psycostimulant which contains compounds called cannabinoids (CB). CB exerts their effect in the body by mainly activating the CB1 receptor which is expressed predominantly in the central nervous system. Both dopamine (DA) and CB are linked to the reward system and enforcement of addictive substances. This study aims to investigate the effect cannabinoid have on DA transmission in differentiated PC12 cells using a fluorescence based assay called neurotransmitter transporter uptake assay (NTUA). This homogenous assay uses a fluorescent false transmitter which mimics either NAd, DA and serotonin transporter substrate. An increase in fluorescence in cells indicates possible transporter activity, thereby making it possible to assess transporter activity by quantitative fluorescence technique. Differentiated PC12 cells showed increased fluorescence signal when compared to the undifferentiated cells. Fluorescent uptake was significantly reduced in the presence of the DAT blocker, GBR (100nM) and the noradrenaline transporter blocker, desipramine (1µM). Suggesting the fluorescent false transmitter isn’t specific. The cannabinoids also showed no significant effect on the fluorescent uptake of the cells. While PCR results showed that differentiated PC12 cells had low expressions of the cannabinoid receptor 1 gene (CNR1), making this cell line unsuitable for this cannabinoid study, however further testing is required.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Sc.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Sc.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Medical & Dental Sciences
School or Department: School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology


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