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The effects of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on oocyte competence and early embryonic development

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Title: The effects of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on oocyte competence and early embryonic development
Author: Misner, Megan
Department: Department of Biomedical Sciences
Program: Biomedical Sciences
Advisor: Favetta, Laura
Abstract: This thesis investigates the effects of the psychoactive component of cannabis, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on bovine in vitro oocyte maturation and subsequent early embryonic development. Legalization of cannabis, increasing use and negative clinical outcomes during artificial reproduction procedures have sparked a need for further investigation into effects on reproduction. This study hypothesized that THC exposure at clinically relevant doses during oocyte maturation negatively impacts oocyte competence and embryonic development, thus leading to overall decreased fertility in women. Developmental parameters and oocyte and embryo quality were examined in an in vitro bovine model, the ideal translational experimental model for human reproduction. Oocytes were treated during maturation with THC concentrations mimicking the plasma and follicular fluid levels identified upon exposure to therapeutic and recreational cannabis doses. The experimental data revealed a decreased ability of THC treated oocytes to progress into a viable embryo that would be capable of supporting a clinical pregnancy.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/18072
Date: 2020-07
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