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Schizophrenia Bulletin Open





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Cannabis use is highly prevalent in patients with schizophrenia and worsens the course of the disorder. To understand how exposure to cannabis changes schizophrenia-related oscillatory disruptions, we investigated the impact of administering cannabis vapor containing either Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or balanced THC/cannabidiol (CBD) on oscillatory activity in the neonatal ventral hippocampal lesion (NVHL) rat model of schizophrenia. Male Sprague Dawley rats underwent lesion or sham surgeries on postnatal day 7. In adulthood, electrodes were implanted targeting the cingulate cortex (Cg), the prelimbic cortex (PrLC), the hippocampus (HIP), and the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Local field potential recordings were obtained after rats were administered either the "THC-only"cannabis vapor (8-18% THC/0% CBD) or the "Balanced THC:CBD"cannabis vapor (4-11% THC/8.5-15.5% CBD) in a cross-over design with a 2-week wash-out period between exposures. Compared to controls, NVHL rats had reduced baseline gamma power in the Cg, HIP, and NAc, and reduced HIP-Cg high-gamma coherence. THC-only vapor exposure broadly suppressed oscillatory power and coherence, even beyond the baseline reductions observed in NHVL rats. Balanced THC:CBD vapor, however, did not suppress oscillatory power and coherence, and in some instances enhanced power. For NVHL rats, THC-only vapor normalized the baseline HIP-Cg high-gamma coherence deficits. NHVL rats demonstrated a 20 ms delay in HIP theta to high-gamma phase coupling, which was not apparent in the PrLC and NAc after both exposures. In conclusion, cannabis vapor exposure has varying impacts on oscillatory activity in NVHL rats, and the relative composition of naturally occurring cannabinoids may contribute to this variability.