SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • brain development;
  • embryogenesis;
  • endocannabinoid system;
  • receptors;
  • THC

Abstract

Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

The spatiotemporal expression of cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoid-metabolising enzymes during brain development guides major developmental processes including neurogenesis, cell differentiation, cell migration, neuronal specification and synaptogenesis.

Endocannabinoids (eCBs) play an important role in fine-tuning neurotransmission and have recently been shown to play an important role in brain development. The spatiotemporal expression of cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoid-metabolising enzymes during development guides major developmental processes including neurogenesis, cell differentiation, cell migration, neuronal specification and synaptogenesis. Furthermore, pharmacological experiments and transgenic animal models have shown the impact of disrupted eCB signalling on normal brain development and revealed the danger of both cannabis abuse and exposure to cannabinoid drugs during embryonic development, childhood and adolescence. In this review, we focus on the dynamic expression of eCB components and the physiological role eCBs play during brain development.