Adolescent cannabis use is associated with greater relative risk, increased symptom severity, and earlier age of onset of schizophrenia. We investigated whether this interaction may be partly attributable to disease-related disturbances in metabolism of the major cortical endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Transcript levels for the recently discovered 2-AG metabolizing enzyme, α-β-hydrolase domain 6 (ABHD6), were assessed using quantitative PCR in the prefrontal cortex of schizophrenia and healthy subjects (n=84) and antipsychotic- or tetrahydrocannabinol-exposed monkeys. ABHD6 mRNA levels were elevated in schizophrenia subjects who were younger and had a shorter illness duration but not in antipsychotic- or tetrahydrocannabinol-exposed monkeys. Higher ABHD6 mRNA levels may increase 2-AG metabolism which may influence susceptibility to cannabis in the earlier stages of schizophrenia.
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