Associate Professor Jonathon Arnold

Associate Professor
Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences
Bosch Institute

D06 - Blackburn Building
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

T: +61 2 9036 5361
F: +61 2 9351 7328

Biographical details

Research interests

A/Prof Arnold has isolated genes that modulate the neurobehavioural effects of cannabinoids. His research has focussed on ABC transporter genes that encode drug efflux pumps found at the blood brain barrier. These might regulate cannabinoid brain uptake by transporting cannabinoid drugs from brain tissue back into the peripheral blood supply. His group was the first to show cannabinoids modulate activity and expression ofABCB1in 2006 (published inBiochemical Pharmacology) andABCG2in 2007 (published in theBritish Journal of Pharmacology). In recognition of this research A/Prof Arnold received a Young Investigator Award from the US-basedBrain and Behavior Research Foundation(formerly known as NARSAD). The other major arm of his research demonstrated that the schizophrenia susceptibility gene neuregulin 1 (Nrg1) modulates the neuropharmacological actions of cannabinoids. The seminal manuscripts on this topic published in 2007 inPsychopharmacologyandNeurosciencehave received collectively over 100 citations. His research has influenced human genomic research in psychiatry, for example, a recently accepted publication inBiological Psychiatryfrom researchers at Yale University reported thatNRG1increased the risk of developing cannabis dependence. His recent publication in theInternational Journal of Neuropsychopharmacologyis the first to showNrg1is involved in the development of cannabinoid tolerance. In 2009 Dr Arnold established a Neurobehavioural Laboratory at the Brain and Mind Research Institute (BMRI) in collaboration with Professor Max Bennett.


Neuropharmacology; Schizophrenia; Pharmacology; Substance abuse and addiction; Behavioural neuroscience

International links

France. (University of Bordeaux) Prof Jacques Micheau.
United States. (Skirball Institute New York) Professor Wenbiao Gan.


2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009


  • Arnold, J. (2014), Why sigma-1 receptor dysfunction might confer vulnerability to cannabis-induced psychosis. The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology. 17(12), 1911-1913. [Abstract]
  • Thompson, G., Ireland, T., Larkin, X., Arnold, J., Holsinger, R. (2014), A Novel Segmentation-Based Algorithm for the Quantification of Magnified Cells. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry. 115, 1849-1854. [Abstract]
  • Wong, A., Keats, K., Rooney, K., Hicks, C., Allsop, D., Arnold, J., McGregor, I. (2014), Fasting and exercise increase plasma cannabinoid levels in THC pre-treated rats: an examination of behavioural consequences. Psychopharmacology. 231(20), 3987-3996. [Abstract]
  • Chohan, T., Boucher, A., Spencer, J., Kassem, M., Hamdi, A., Karl, T., Fok, S., Bennett, M., Arnold, J. (2014), Partial Genetic Deletion of Neuregulin 1 Modulates the Effects of Stress on Sensorimotor Gating, Dendritic Morphology, and HPA Axis Activity in Adolescent Mice. Schizophrenia Bulletin. 40(6), 1272-1284. [Abstract]
  • Karl, T., Arnold, J. (2014), Schizophrenia: a consequence of gene-environment interactions?. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 8, 435. [Abstract]
  • Chohan, T., Nguyen, A., Todd, S., Bennett, M., Callaghan, P., Arnold, J. (2014), Partial genetic deletion of neuregulin 1 and adolescent stress interact to alter NMDA receptor binding in the medial prefrontal cortex. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 8, 298. [Abstract]


  • Kassem, M., Lagopoulos, J., Stait-Gardner, T., Price, W., Chohan, T., Arnold, J., Hatton, S., Bennett, M. (2013), Stress-Induced Grey Matter Loss Determined by MRI Is Primarily Due to Loss of Dendrites and Their Synapses. Molecular Neurobiology. 47(2), 645-661. [Abstract]
  • Spencer, J., Chohan, T., Karl, T., Arnold, J. (2013), Female Neuregulin 1 Heterozygous Mice Require Repeated Exposure to Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol to Alter Sensorimotor Gating Function. Pharmacopsychiatry. 46(7), 286-291. [Abstract]
  • Wong, A., Montebello, M., Norberg, M., Rooney, K., Lintzeris, N., Bruno, R., Booth, J., Arnold, J., McGregor, I. (2013), Exercise increases plasma THC concentrations in regular cannabis users. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 133(2), 763-767. [Abstract]
  • Long, L., Chesworth, R., Huang, X., McGregor, I., Arnold, J., Karl, T. (2013), Transmembrane domain Nrg1 mutant mice show altered susceptibility to the neurobehavioural actions of repeated THC exposure in adolescence. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology. 16(1), 163-175. [Abstract]
  • Swift, W., Wong, A., Li, K., Arnold, J., McGregor, I. (2013), Analysis of Cannabis Seizures in NSW, Australia: Cannabis Potency and Cannabinoid Profile. PloS One. 8(7), e70052. [Abstract]
  • Karl, T., Arnold, J. (2013), What does a mouse tell us about neuregulin 1-cannabis interactions?. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. 7, 18. [Abstract]
  • Spencer, J., Darbyshire, K., Boucher, A., Kashem, M., Long, L., McGregor, I., Karl, T., Arnold, J. (2013), Novel molecular changes induced by Nrg1 hypomorphism and Nrg1-cannabinoid interaction in adolescence: a hippocampal proteomic study in mice. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. 7, 15. [Abstract]


  • Spencer, J., Darbyshire, K., Boucher, A., Arnold, J. (2012), Adolescent neuregulin 1 heterozygous mice display enhanced behavioral sensitivity to methamphetamine. Progress in Neuro-psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry. 39(2), 376-381. [Abstract]
  • Arnold, J., Boucher, A., Karl, T. (2012), The Yin and Yang of Cannabis-induced Psychosis: the Actions of ∆(9)-Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol in Rodent Models of Schizophrenia. Current Pharmaceutical Design. 18(32), 5113-5130. [Abstract]
  • Arnold, J., Hone, P., Holland, M., Allen, J. (2012), CB(2) and TRPV(1) receptors mediate cannabinoid actions on MDR1 expression in multidrug resistant cells. Pharmacological Reports. 64(3), 751-757. [Abstract]
  • Karl, T., Cheng, D., Garner, B., Arnold, J. (2012), The therapeutic potential of the endocannabinoid system for Alzheimer's disease. Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets. 16(4), 407-420. [Abstract]
  • Wong, A., Gunasekaran, N., Hancock, D., Denyer, G., Meng, L., Radford, J., McGregor, I., Arnold, J. (2012), The Major Plant-derived Cannabinoid Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Promotes Hypertrophy and Macrophage Infiltration in Adipose Tissue. Hormone and Metabolic Research. 44(2), 105-113. [Abstract]
  • Long, L., Chesworth, R., Huang, X., Wong, A., Spiro, A., McGregor, I., Arnold, J., Karl, T. (2012), Distinct neurobehavioural effects of cannabidiol in transmembrane domain neuregulin 1 mutant mice. PLoS One. 7(4), e34129. [Abstract]
  • Spiro, A., Wong, A., Boucher, A., Arnold, J. (2012), Enhanced brain disposition and effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol in P-glycoprotein and breast cancer resistance protein knockout mice. PLoS One. 7(4), e35937. [Abstract]


  • Klein, C., Karanges, E., Spiro, A., Wong, A., Spencer, J., Huynh, T., Gunasekaran, N., Karl, T., Long, L., Huang, X., Liu, K., Arnold, J., McGregor, I. (2011), Cannabidiol potentiates Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) behavioural effects and alters THC pharmacokinetics during acute and chronic treatment in adolescent rats. Psychopharmacology. 218(2), 443-57. [Abstract]
  • Boucher, A., Arnold, J., Hunt, G., Spiro, A., Spencer, J., Brown, C., McGregor, I., Bennett, M., Kassiou, M. (2011), Resilience and reduced c-Fos expression in P2X7 receptor knockout mice exposed to repeated forced swim test. Neuroscience. 189(2011), 170-7. [Abstract]
  • Sokolic, L., Long, L., Hunt, G., Arnold, J., McGregor, I. (2011), Disruptive effects of the prototypical cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and the fatty acid amide inhibitor URB-597 on go/no-go auditory discrimination performance and olfactory reversal learning in rats. Behavioural Pharmacology. 22(3), 191-202. [Abstract]
  • Boucher, A., Hunt, G., Micheau, J., Huang, X., McGregor, I., Karl, T., Arnold, J. (2011), The schizophrenia susceptibility gene neuregulin 1 modulates tolerance to the effects of cannabinoids. The international journal of neuropsychopharmacology / official scientific journal of the Collegium Internationale Neuropsychopharmacologicum (CINP). 14, 631-43. [Abstract]
  • Bowen, M., Carson, D., Spiro, A., Arnold, J., McGregor, I. (2011), Adolescent oxytocin exposure causes persistent reductions in anxiety and alcohol consumption and enhances sociability in rats. PloS One. 6(11), e27237. [Abstract]


  • van Nieuwenhuijzen, P., Long, L., Hunt, G., Arnold, J., McGregor, I. (2010), Residual social, memory and oxytocin-related changes in rats following repeated exposure to gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) or their combination. Psychopharmacology. 212, 663-74. [Abstract]
  • Arnold, J., Dielenberg, R., McGregor, I. (2010), Cannabinoids increase conditioned ultrasonic vocalisations and cat odour avoidance in rats: Strain differences in drug-induced anxiety. Life sciences. 87(17-18), 572-8. [Abstract]
  • Carson, D., Hunt, G., Guastella, A., Barber, L., Cornish, J., Arnold, J., Boucher, A., McGregor, I. (2010), Systemically administered oxytocin decreases methamphetamine activation of the subthalamic nucleus and accumbens core and stimulates oxytocinergic neurons in the hypothalamus. Addiction biology. 15(4), 448-63. [Abstract]
  • Long, L., Chesworth, R., Arnold, J., Karl, T. (2010), A follow-up study: acute behavioural effects of Delta(9)-THC in female heterozygous neuregulin 1 transmembrane domain mutant mice. Psychopharmacology. 211(3), 277-289. [Abstract]


  • Gunasekaran, N., Long, L., Dawson, B., Hansen, G., Richardson, D., Li, K., Arnold, J., McGregor, I. (2009), Reintoxication: the release of fat-stored Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) into blood is enhanced by food deprivation or ACTH exposure. British Journal of Pharmacology. 158(5), 1330-1337. [Abstract]
  • Boucher, A., Vivier, L., Metna-Laurent, M., Brayda-Bruno, L., Mons, N., Arnold, J., Micheau, J. (2009), Chronic treatment with Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol impairs spatial memory and reduces zif268 expression in the mouse forebrain. Behavioural Pharmacology. 20(1), 45-55. [Abstract]