CB1 antagonism increases excitatory synaptogenesis in a cortical spheroid model of fetal brain development

Papariello A, Taylor D, Soderstrom K, and Litwa K

Nature: Scientific Reports, 2021


The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays an undefined role in fetal brain development.  In particular, the CB1 receptor contributes to balancing inhibitory and excitatory signaling.  In order to evaluate the role of CB1 during fetal brain development, iPSC-derived cortical spheroids with functional synapses, spontaneous activity, and astrocyte co-population were developed.  The cortical organoids were dissociated and the cells plated in a Cytoview MEA plate.  Dosing with a CB1-selective antagonist resulted in increased spontaneous activity within developing neural networks as measured by Axion's multielectrode array Maestro Edge system.