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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

THE EFFECT OF DELTA-9 TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL ON DEVELOPMENTAL MORPHOLOGY IN ZEBRAFISH**

Abstract

The use of marijuana has been shown to have positive medical effects (e.g., in the treatment of migraines and epilepsy), but also negative effects (e.g., when exposure is during development). The cannabis plant has more than 60 cannabinoid components, thus it is not always clear which chemical is responsible for a given response. The primary psychoactive ingredient is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which has been shown to alter behavioral and locomotor responses in zebrafish embryos. In this study, we are examining the effects of exposure to varying levels of THC (0, 0.625%, 1.25% and 2.5%) in developing zebrafish with respect to morphological alterations such as changes in jaw development and length or axial curvature of the embryos. The stock THC solution is in methanol, thus we will maintain the same concentration of methanol in all treatment groups. We will expose embryos within four hours of fertilization to the different drug concentrations and maintain exposure until day four following fertilization (4 dpf). Treatment groups will be monitored daily to record the number and remove any dead embryos. At 4 dpf we will anthesthetize the embryos, fix in 4% paraformaldehyde, and store in 100% methanol at 20° C until morphology is assessed. Jaw development will be examined following an alcian blue staining of cartilage.

Acknowledgements

YHC Undergraduate Research Initiative

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