Role of ABC transporters in cannabis-antipsychotic drug interactions


Role of ABC transporters in cannabis-antipsychotic drug interactions


Dr Jonathon Arnold

Research Location

Camperdown - School of Medical Sciences - Bosch Institute

Program Type



This project aims to investigate whether cannabis use might alter the effectiveness of antipsychotic treatment in schizophrenia patients. Many antipsychotic drugs are substrates for ABC transporters. These transporters are localized at the blood brain barrier where they bind substrate drugs and transport them out of the brain back into the peripheral blood supply. Our work has shown acute cannabinoid exposure inhibits the transport function of the ABC transporters P-gp and BCRP. Therefore, cannabis-using schizophrenia patients may have increased CNS retention of antipsychotic drugs that would either assist in reducing schizophrenia symptoms and/or increase the incidence of side effects. An alternate mechanism whereby cannabis might affect the brain retention of antipsychotic drugs is by altering the expression of ABC transporters. Our preliminary data suggests that longer-term cannabinoid exposure increases P-gp expression at the blood brain barrier. Thus, chronic cannabinoid exposure may reduce brain levels of antipsychotic drugs. Taken together, this project will help illuminate a novel mechanism for cannabis-antipsychotic drug interactions.

Additional Information

Techniques: knockout mice, behavioural analysis, laser capture microdissection (LCM), qPCR, western blotting, analytical techniques (HPLC and GCMS)

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ABC transporters, cannabis, antipsychotic drug interactions, Schizophrenia

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 1179

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