Delta 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol and ethanol: differential effects on sympathetic activity in differing environmental setting.
Serum dopamine beta-hydroxylase activity, a useful biochemical index of peripheral sympathetic nervous activity, was measured in rats treated with Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol or ethanol or both substances. After 7 days of treatment with either substance, serum dopamine beta-hydroxylase activity decreased significantly. Combined treatment with both agents enhanced the effects of each given alone. In rats subjected to immobilization stress, treatment with Delta(9)- tetrahydrocannabinol appeared to potentiate the stress-induced increase in serum enzyme activity. Treatment with ethanol, with or without Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, effectively blocked this increase in enzyme activity. These results show that both substances have significant effects on the sympathetic nervous system which are critically influenced by environmental setting.
Ng, LK; Lamprecht, F; Williams, RB; Kopin, IJ
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