Latest and long-term marijuana use is linked to adjustments within the human epigenome, a brand new Northwestern Medication examine revealed in Molecular Psychiatry has discovered.
Marijuana is essentially the most used drug in the USA, in line with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, with roughly 48.2 million individuals (about 18% of all People) having used it at the very least as soon as in 2019, the newest yr for which information is out there.
Though a number of states have legalized marijuana, the well being penalties of marijuana use usually are not properly understood, stated Lifang Hou, MD, Ph.D., chief of Most cancers Epidemiology and Prevention within the Division of Preventive Medication and senior creator of the examine.
“Regardless of its rising reputation, in addition to current legalization by a number of states, the impact of marijuana on epigenetic elements has not been properly studied,” stated Hou, who can also be Director of the Heart for World Oncology within the Robert J. Havey, MD, Institute for World Well being. “We beforehand recognized associations between marijuana use and the ageing course of as captured by way of DNA methylation. We needed to additional discover whether or not particular epigenetic elements have been related to marijuana and whether or not these elements are associated to well being outcomes.”
Within the examine, investigators analyzed entire blood samples taken 5 years other than individuals who beforehand participated within the Coronary Artery Threat Growth in Younger Adults (CARDIA) examine. The present examine included information from greater than 900 adults.
The scientists surveyed every participant for current marijuana use and estimated cumulative use after which carried out DNA methylation profiling on their blood samples to disclose epigenetic adjustments related to marijuana use.
By finding out adjustments in DNA methylation, the organic course of by which methyl teams are added to DNA molecules, thereby altering gene expression, scientists have been in a position to hyperlink marijuana use to adjustments within the human epigenome.
Total, investigators noticed 22 and 31 DNA methylation markers related to current and cumulative marijuana use, respectively, from the primary samples and 132 and 16 methylation markers within the second batch of samples, in line with the examine.
Most of the epigenetic adjustments have been present in pathways beforehand linked to mobile proliferation, hormone signaling, infections and psychological well being issues comparable to schizophrenia, bipolar dysfunction and substance use issues, Hou stated.
“In our examine, we noticed associations between cumulative marijuana use and a number of epigenetic markers throughout time,” Hou stated. “Curiously, we constantly recognized one marker that has beforehand been related to tobacco use, suggesting a possible shared epigenetic regulation between tobacco and marijuana use. The noticed marijuana markers have been additionally related to cell proliferation, an infection and psychiatric issues, nonetheless, extra research are wanted to copy and confirm these findings.”
Whereas the examine doesn’t set up a causal relationship between marijuana use and epigenetic adjustments, nor between these epigenetic adjustments and noticed well being outcomes, the findings could also be helpful in future analysis into the epigenetic results of marijuana use, stated Drew Nannini, DO, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow within the Hou lab and first creator of the examine.
“This analysis has supplied novel insights into the affiliation between marijuana use and epigenetic elements,” Nannini stated. “Extra research are wanted to find out whether or not these associations are constantly noticed in numerous populations. Furthermore, research analyzing the impact of marijuana on age-related well being outcomes might present additional perception into the long-term impact of marijuana on well being.”
Drew R. Nannini et al, Genome-wide DNA methylation affiliation examine of current and cumulative marijuana use in center aged adults, Molecular Psychiatry (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s41380-023-02106-y
Marijuana use linked to epigenetic adjustments (2023, July 20)
retrieved 21 July 2023
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