Recent societal acceptance of cannabinoids as recreational and therapeutic drugs has posed a potential hazard to male reproductive health. Mammals have a highly sophisticated endogenous cannabinoid (ECS) system that regulates male (and female) reproduction and exo-cannabinoids may influence it adversely. Therefore it is imperative to determine their effects on male reproduction so that men can make informed choices as to their use. Here, an animal model was used to administer HU210, a synthetic analogue of ?9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and potent cannabinoid receptor (CB) agonist to determine its effects on reproductive organ weights, spermatogenesis, testicular histology and sperm motility. Its effects on the physiological endocannabinoid system were also investigated. Spermatogenesis was markedly impaired with reductions in total sperm count after 2 weeks of exposure. Spermatogenic efficiency was depleted, and Sertoli cell number decreased as exposure time increased with seminiferous tubules showing germ cell depletion developing into atrophy in some cases. Sperm motility was also adversely affected with marked reductions from 2 weeks on. HU210 also acted on the sperm’s endocannabinoid system. Long term use of exo-cannabinoids has adverse effects on both spermatogenesis and sperm function. These findings highlight the urgent need for studies evaluating the fertility potential of male recreational drug users.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||International Journal of Andrology|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2012|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Reproductive Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Lewis, S., Paro, R., Borriello, L., Simon, L., Robinson, L., Dincer, Z., Riedel, G., Battista, N., & Maccarrone, M. (2012). Long Term Use of HU210 Adversely Affects Spermatogenesis in Rats by modulating the Endocannabinoid System. International Journal of Andrology, in press(5), 731-740.