Caffeine and Cannabis Effects on Vital Neurotransmitters and Enzymes in the Brain Tissue of Juvenile Experimental Rats

Caffeine and Cannabis Effects on Vital Neurotransmitters and Enzymes in the Brain Tissue of Juvenile Experimental Rats

Author by Dr. John Afees Olanrewaju

Journal/Publisher: Annals Of Neurosciences

Volume/Edition: 24

Language: English

Pages: 65 - 73


Background:  Caffeine and cannabis are globally consumed and abused psychoactive substances. While caffeine is legally used in various forms, including in tea and coffee as beverages, it is also consumed in soda and energy drinks as additives. Cannabis, on the other hand, is considered illegal in most countries; albeit, it is being consumed globally particularly by adolescents.  Purpose:  The adolescent stage marks a critical stage of brain development and maturation. Influences of agents on the brain at this stage may affect neuronal structural and functional attributes. To this end, the current experiment considered the effects of cannabis and caffeine on selected key neurotransmitters and enzymes in the brain tissues after regimented caffeine and cannabis treatment for 21 days.  Methods:  A total of 72 juvenile Wistar rats that were approximately 40 days old were divided into 6 groups A–F. The group A served as the control. Other groups were administered various dosages of caffeine or cannabis in distilled water, using oral gavages as follows: group B animals received 100 mg/kg body weight of caffeine, group C animals received 50 mg/kg body weight of caffeine, group D animals received 500 mg/kg body weight of cannabis, group E animals received 200 mg/kg body weight of cannabis, and group F received a low dose of cannabis (200 mg/kg body weight) plus a low dose of caffeine (50 mg/kg body weight). The animals were killed by cervical dislocation 24 h after the last administration. The brain tissues were excised and homogenized. The enzymes cytochrome C oxidase and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase were assayed to observe tissue energy metabolism while the neurotransmitters gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA), glutamate, and dopamine were assayed to observe the effects of the psychoactive substances on their activities relative to mental activities.  Results:  GABA, glutamate, and dopamine were generally higher in the treated groups of animals. The levels of G-6-PDH were higher in all treated animals’ brains. Caffeine produced quite more significant effects relative to cannabis and the combination of both increased the level of G-6-PDH significantly.  Conclusion:  Results showed that caffeine and cannabis influenced the activities of the enzymes and neurotransmitters in the brain. Both stimulants altered brain chemistry relative to the tested enzymes and neurotransmitters. 

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