• Chronic cannabis smoking-enriched oral pathobiont drives behavioral changes, macrophage infiltration, and increases β-amyloid protein production in the brain

      Luo, Zhenwu; Fitting, Sylvia; Robinson, Catrina; Benitez, Andreana; Li, Min; Wu, Yongxia; Fu, Xiaoyu; Amato, Davide; Ning, Wangbin; Funderburg, Nicholas; et al. (Elsevier B.V., 2021-11-23)
      Background: Little is known about chronic cannabis smoking-associated oral microbiome and its effects on central nervous system (CNS) functions. Methods: In the current study, we have analyzed the saliva microbiome in individuals who chronically smoked cannabis with cannabis use disorder (n = 16) and in non-smoking controls (n = 27). The saliva microbiome was analyzed using microbial 16S rRNA sequencing. To investigate the function of cannabis use-associated oral microbiome, mice were orally inoculated with live Actinomyces meyeri, Actinomyces odontolyticus, or Neisseria elongata twice per week for six months, which mimicked human conditions. Findings: We found that cannabis smoking in humans was associated with oral microbial dysbiosis. The most increased oral bacteria were Streptococcus and Actinomyces genus and the most decreased bacteria were Neisseria genus in chronic cannabis smokers compared to those in non-smokers. Among the distinct species bacteria in cannabis smokers, the enrichment of Actinomyces meyeri was inversely associated with the age of first cannabis smoking. Strikingly, oral exposure of Actinomyces meyeri, an oral pathobiont, but not the other two control bacteria, decreased global activity, increased macrophage infiltration, and increased β-amyloid 42 protein production in the mouse brains. Interpretation: This is the first study to reveal that long-term oral cannabis exposure is associated oral enrichment of Actinomyces meyeri and its contributions to CNS abnormalities.