Assessing the acute effects of prenatal synthetic cannabinoid exposure on murine fetal brain vasculature using optical coherence tomography. Academic Article uri icon


  • Marijuana is one of the most commonly abused substances during pregnancy. Synthetic cannabinoids (SCBs) are a group of heterogeneous compounds that are 40- to 600-fold more potent than 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol, the major psychoactive component of marijuana. With SCBs being legally available for purchase and the prevalence of unplanned pregnancies, the possibility of prenatal exposure to SCBs is high. However, the effects of prenatal SCB exposure on embryonic brain development are not well understood. In this study, we use complex correlation mapping optical coherence angiography to evaluate changes in murine fetal brain vasculature in utero, minutes after maternal exposure to an SCB, CP-55940. Results showed a significant decrease (P<0.05) in fetal brain vessel diameter, length fraction and area density when compared to the sham group. This preliminary study shows that acute prenatal exposure to an SCB resulted in significant fetal brain vasoconstriction during the peak period for brain development.

published proceedings

  • J Biophotonics

altmetric score

  • 15.33

author list (cited authors)

  • Raghunathan, R., Liu, C., Kouka, A., Singh, M., Miranda, R. C., & Larin, K. V.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Raghunathan, Raksha||Liu, Chih-Hao||Kouka, Amur||Singh, Manmohan||Miranda, Rajesh C||Larin, Kirill V

publication date

  • August 2019