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Modulation of Recombinant Human T-type calcium Channels by Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid in vitro

By Somayeh Mirlohi, Chris Bladen, Marina Santiago, Mark Connor

Posted 11 Oct 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.10.11.335422

Introduction: Low voltage-activated T-type calcium channels (T-type I Ca), CaV3.1, CaV3.2, and CaV3.3 are opened by small depolarizations from the resting membrane potential in many cells and have been associated with neurological disorders including absence epilepsy and pain. Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the principal psychoactive compound in Cannabis and also directly modulates T-type I Ca , however, there is no information about functional activity of most phytocannabinoids on T-type I Ca, including Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA), the natural non-psychoactive precursor of THC. The aim of this work was to characterize THCA effects on T-type I Ca . Materials and Methods: We used HEK293 Flp-In-TREx cells stably expressing CaV3.1, 3.2 or 3.3. Whole-cell patch clamp recordings were made to investigate cannabinoid modulation of I Ca . Results: THCA and THC inhibited the peak current amplitude CaV3.1 with a pEC50s of 6.0 ± 0.7 and 5.6 ± 0.4, respectively. 1 μM THCA or THC produced a significant negative shift in half activation and inactivation of CaV3.1 and both drugs prolonged CaV3.1 deactivation kinetics. THCA (10 μM) inhibited CaV3.2 by 53% ± 4 and both THCA and THC produced a substantial negative shift in the voltage for half inactivation and modest negative shift in half activation of CaV3.2. THC prolonged the deactivation time of CaV3.2 while THCA did not. THCA inhibited the peak current of CaV3.3 by 43% ± 2 (10μM) but did not notably affect CaV3.3 channel activation or inactivation, however, THC caused significant hyperpolarizing shift in CaV3.3 steady state inactivation. Discussion: THCA modulated T-type I Ca currents in vitro, with significant modulation of kinetics and voltage dependence at low μM concentrations. This study suggests that THCA may have potential for therapeutic use in pain and epilepsy via T-type channel modulation without the unwanted psychoactive effects associated with THC ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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