Single-cell Transcriptome Mapping Identifies Common and Cell-type Specific Genes Affected by Acute Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol in Humans

Ying Hu, Mohini Ranganathan, Chang Shu, Xiaoyu Liang, Suhas Ganesh, Awo Osafo-Addo, Chunhua Yan, Xinyu Zhang, Bradley E. Aouizerat, John H. Krystal, Deepak C. D’Souza, Ke Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is known to modulate immune response in peripheral blood cells. The mechanisms of THC’s effects on gene expression in human immune cells remains poorly understood. Combining a within-subject design with single cell transcriptome mapping, we report that THC acutely alters gene expression in 15,973 blood cells. We identified 294 transcriptome-wide significant genes among eight cell types including 69 common genes and 225 cell-type-specific genes affected by THC administration, including those genes involving in immune response, cytokine production, cell proliferation and apoptosis. We revealed distinct transcriptomic sub-clusters affected by THC in major immune cell types where THC perturbed cell-type-specific intracellular gene expression correlations. Gene set enrichment analysis further supports the findings of THC’s common and cell-type-specific effects on immune response and cell toxicity. This comprehensive single-cell transcriptomic profiling provides important insights into THC’s acute effects on immune function that may have important medical implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3450
JournalScientific reports
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

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    Hu, Y., Ranganathan, M., Shu, C., Liang, X., Ganesh, S., Osafo-Addo, A., Yan, C., Zhang, X., Aouizerat, B. E., Krystal, J. H., D’Souza, D. C., & Xu, K. (2020). Single-cell Transcriptome Mapping Identifies Common and Cell-type Specific Genes Affected by Acute Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol in Humans. Scientific reports, 10(1), [3450]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-59827-1