Title

Sex Differences in Long-term Effects of Endogenic Cannabinoid Agonists and Early Stressors on Memory

Document Type

Thesis

Publication Date

2006

Advisor

Linda Tennison, Psychology

Abstract

Cannabinoid exposure can result in long-term cognitive and behavioral effects in adolescent and juvenile, but not adult, rats. Maternal deprivation during early development can also contribute to cognitive deficits in adult rats. Interestingly, recent animal model research identifies sex differences in long-term behavioral and physiological effects of cannabinoid exposure during adolescence. The purpose of the current study was to test for sex differences in the interaction between cannabinoid exposure and maternal deprivation on memory. The current study identifies a sexually dimorphic effect of cannabinoid exposure in adolescence on long-term memory performance. While adult females exposed to cannabinoid agonists as adolescents performed significantly worse than those receiving vehicle only, adult males exposed to cannabinoid agonists performed better than those in the control condition. The current study found no significant findings relating to maternal deprivation.

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