Matthew N Hill

Matthew N Hill
The University of Calgary | HBI · Hotchkiss Brain Institute

About

195
Publications
30,364
Reads
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11,342
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 2011 - present
The University of Calgary
November 2008 - July 2011
The Rockefeller University
January 2002 - October 2008
University of British Columbia - Vancouver
Education
October 2008 - July 2011
The Rockefeller University
Field of study
  • Psychoneuroendocrinology
September 2004 - August 2008
University of British Columbia - Vancouver
Field of study
  • Behavioural Neuroscience

Publications

Publications (195)
Preprint
Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) degrades the endocannabinoid anandamide. A polymorphism in FAAH (FAAH C385A) reduces FAAH expression, increases anandamide levels, and increases the risk of obesity. Nevertheless, some studies have found no association between FAAH C385A and obesity. We investigated whether the environmental context governs the imp...
Article
Research over the past few decades has established a role for the endocannabinoid system for contributing to the neural and endocrine responses to stress exposure. The two endocannabinoid ligands, anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonylyl glycerol (2-AG), both play roles in regulating the stress response and both exhibit dynamic changes in response to s...
Article
Full-text available
Up to a third of North Americans report using cannabis in the prior month, most commonly through inhalation. Animal models that reflect human consumption are critical to study the impact of cannabis on brain and behaviour. Most animal studies to date utilize injection of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC; primary psychoactive component of cannabis)...
Article
Introduction: The endocannabinoid (eCB) system plays a key role in maintaining homeostasis, including the regulation of metabolism and stress responses. Chronic stress may blunt eCB signaling, and disruptions in eCB signaling have been linked to stress-related psychiatric disorders and physical health conditions, including anxiety, depression, post...
Article
Cannabis use during pregnancy has increased over the past few decades, with recent data indicating that, in youth and young adults especially, up to 22% of people report using cannabis during pregnancy. Animal models provide the ability to study prenatal cannabis exposure (PCE) with control over timing and dosage; however, these studies utilize bot...
Article
Full-text available
Cannabinoids, including cannabis derived phytocannabinoids and endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids), are typically considered anti-inflammatory. One such endocannabinoid is N -arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide, AEA), which is metabolized by fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). In humans, there is a loss of function single nucleotide polymorp...
Preprint
To reduce reliance on opioids for the treatment of pain in the clinic, ongoing work is testing the utility of cannabinoid drugs as a potential alternative for treatment of chronic pain and/or as a strategy for reducing opioid drug dosage and duration of treatment (i.e., so-called opioid-sparing effects). Previous preclinical work has shown robust a...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding sex differences in behavioral and molecular effects of stress has important implications for understanding the vulnerability to chronic psychiatric disorders associated with stress response circuitry. The amygdala is critical for emotional learning and generating behavioral responses to stressful stimuli, and preclinical studies indic...
Article
The brain’s endocannabinoid system is a powerful controller of neurotransmitter release, shaping synaptic communication under physiological and pathological conditions. However, our understanding of endocannabinoid signaling in vivo is limited by the inability to measure their changes at timescales commensurate with the high lability of lipid signa...
Preprint
Up to a third of North Americans over 16 years old report using cannabis in the prior month, most commonly through inhalation. Animal models that reflect human cannabis consumption are critical to study its impacts on brain and behaviour. Nevertheless, most animal studies to date examine effects of cannabis through injection of delta-9-tetrahydroca...
Article
Full-text available
The endocannabinoid (eCB) system is one the most ubiquitous signaling systems of the brain and offers a rich pharmacology including multiple druggable targets. Preclinical research shows that eCB activity influences functional connectivity between the prefrontal cortex and amygdala, thereby influences an organism’s ability to cope with threats and...
Article
Exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) is a risk factor for the development of psychiatric disorders in addition to cardiovascular associated diseases. This risk is elevated when the cumulative burden of ACEs is increased. Laboratory animals can be used to model the changes (as well as the underlying mechanisms) that result in response to...
Article
Cannabis has been used for hundreds of years, with its ability to dampen feelings of anxiety often reported as a primary reason for use. Only recently has the specific role cannabinoids play in anxiety been thoroughly investigated. Here we discuss the body of evidence describing how endocannabinoids and exogenous cannabinoids are capable of regulat...
Article
Childhood Absence Epilepsy (CAE) accounts for approximately 10% of all pediatric epilepsies. Current treatments for CAE are ineffective in approximately 1/3 of patients and can be associated with severe side effects such as hepatotoxicity. Certain cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), have shown promise in the treatment of pediatric epilepsies....
Article
Full-text available
Background: Upregulation of the endocannabinoid enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) has been linked to abnormal activity in frontoamygdalar circuits, a hallmark of posttraumatic stress disorder. We tested the hypothesis that FAAH levels in the amygdala were negatively correlated with functional connectivity between the amygdala and prefrontal...
Article
Full-text available
Peripheral inflammatory conditions, including those localized to the gastrointestinal tract, are highly comorbid with psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression. These behavioral symptoms are poorly managed by conventional treatments for inflammatory diseases and contribute to quality of life impairments. Peripheral inflammation is associ...
Article
Introduction: Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) is characterized by intense nausea and vomiting brought on by the use of high-dose Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychotropic compound in cannabis. Cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychotropic compound found in cannabis, has been shown to interfere with some acute aversive effects of THC. In th...
Article
Full-text available
Background and purpose: Women are twice as likely as men to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) making the search for biological mechanisms underlying these gender disparities especially crucial. One of the hallmark symptoms of PTSD is an alteration in the ability to extinguish fear responses to trauma-associated cues. In male rodents, t...
Article
Full-text available
Rationale Cannabis users frequently report stress relief as their primary reason for use. Recent studies indicate that human cannabis users exhibit blunted stress reactivity; however, it is unknown whether this is a cause or a consequence of chronic cannabis use. Objectives To determine whether chronic cannabis vapor self-administration elicits se...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Cannabinoids induce biphasic effects on memory depending on stress levels. We previously demonstrated that different stress intensities, experienced soon after encoding, impaired rat short-term recognition memory in a time-of-day-dependent manner, and that boosting endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA) levels restored memory performance. He...
Article
Full-text available
RationaleDysregulation of the endocannabinoid (eCB) system by high doses of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is hypothesized to generate a dysfunctional hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis contributing to cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS).Objectives and methodsUsing the conditioned gaping model of nausea, we aimed to determine if pre-treatm...
Article
Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental health disorder worldwide, with a lifetime prevalence of 5-7% of the human population. Although the etiology of anxiety disorders is incompletely understood, one aspect of host health that affects anxiety disorders is the gut-brain axis. Adolescence is a key developmental window in which stress and an...
Article
Epilepsy is often associated with emotional disturbances and the endocannabinoid (eCB) system tunes synaptic transmission in brain regions regulating emotional behavior. Thus, persistent alteration of eCB signaling after repeated seizures may contribute to the development of epilepsy-related emotional disorders. Here we report that repeatedly elici...
Article
Full-text available
N-acylethanolamines (NAEs), which include the endocannabinoid anandamide, represent an important family of signaling lipids in the brain. The lack of chemical probes that modulate NAE biosynthesis in living systems hamper the understanding of the biological role of these lipids. Using a high-throughput screen, chemical proteomics and targeted lipid...
Article
Full-text available
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common, debilitating condition with limited treatment options. Extinction of fear memories through prolonged exposure therapy, the primary evidence-based behavioral treatment for PTSD, has only partial efficacy. In mice, pharmacological inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) produces elevated leve...
Article
Introduction: Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome is becoming a more prominently reported side effect of cannabis containing high-dose Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and designer cannabinoid drugs such as "Spice." One active ingredient that has been found in "Spice" is 1-pentyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole (JWH-018), a synthetic full agonist of the cannabinoi...
Article
On 2 January 2020, the neuroscience community lost not only a pioneering figure, but also a generous and influential thought leader. Bruce Sherman McEwen, head of the Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology at the Rockefeller University, passed away at age 81, following a short illness. A member of the National Academy o...
Preprint
Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental health disorder worldwide, with a lifetime prevalence of 5-7% of the human population. Although the etiology of anxiety disorders is incompletely understood, one aspect of host health that affects anxiety disorders is the gut-brain axis. We used a mouse model of gastrointestinal (GI) colonization to d...
Article
Full-text available
Adolescence represents a developmental period with the highest risk for initiating cannabis use. Little is known about whether genetic variation in the endocannabinoid system alters mesolimbic reward circuitry to produce vulnerability to the rewarding properties of the exogenous cannabinoid Δ ⁹ -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Using a genetic knock-in...
Article
Recent trends in cannabis legalization have increased the necessity to better understand the effects of cannabis use. Animal models involving traditional cannabinoid self-administration approaches have been notoriously difficult to establish and differences in the drug employed and its route of administration have limited the translational value of...
Article
Even a brief exposure to severe stress strengthens synaptic connectivity days later in the amygdala, a brain area implicated in the affective symptoms of stress-related psychiatric disorders. However, little is known about the synaptic signaling mechanisms during stress that eventually culminate in its delayed impact on the amygdala. Hence, we inve...
Article
The impact of pannexin-1 (Panx1) channels on synaptic transmission is poorly understood. Here, we show that selective block of Panx1 in single postsynaptic hippocampal CA1 neurons from male rat or mouse brain slices causes intermittent, seconds long increases in the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSC) following Schaffe...
Article
The endocannabinoid and dopaminergic systems have independently been implicated in substance use disorder and obesity. We investigated a potential interaction between genetically inherited variation in fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH, C385A), which metabolizes the cannabis-like endocannabinoid anandamide, and dopaminergic system, measured by dopam...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recent trends in cannabis legalization have increased the necessity to better understand the effects of cannabis use. Animal models involving traditional cannabinoid self-administration approaches have been notoriously difficult to establish and differences in the drug employed and its route of administration have limited the translational value of...
Article
Background: Posttraumatic stress disorder, an area of large unmet medical needs, is characterized by persistence of fear memories and maladaptive stress responses. In rodents, elevation of the endocannabinoid anandamide due to inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) facilitates fear extinction and protects against the anxiogenic effects of...
Article
Combat veterans are at elevated suicide risk. The goal of this study was to test the hypothesis that combat veterans who have made a suicide attempt post-deployment can be distinguished from combat veterans who have never made a suicide attempt based on differences in psychological and biological variables. For the latter, we focused on endogenous...
Article
Full-text available
The study of rare families with inherited pain insensitivity can identify new human-validated analgesic drug targets. Here, a 66-yr-old female presented with nil requirement for postoperative analgesia after a normally painful orthopaedic hand surgery (trapeziectomy). Further investigations revealed a lifelong history of painless injuries, such as...
Article
Brain sex differences are established developmentally and generate enduring changes in circuitry and behavior. Steroid-mediated masculinization of the rat amygdala during perinatal development produces higher levels of juvenile rough-and-tumble play by males. This sex difference in social play is highly conserved across mammals, yet the mechanisms...
Preprint
Full-text available
The study of rare families with inherited pain insensitivity can identify new human-validated analgesic drug targets. Here, a 66-year-old female presented with nil requirement for post-operative analgesia following a normally painful orthopaedic hand surgery [trapeziectomy]. Further investigations revealed a lifelong history of painless injuries, s...
Article
Increased anandamide (AEA) signaling through inhibition of its catabolic enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) in the basolateral complex of amygdala (BLA) is thought to buffer against the effects of stress and reduces behavioral signs of anxiety and fear. However, examining the role of AEA signaling in stress, anxiety, and fear through pharmaco...
Article
Early-life stress modulates the development of cortico-limbic circuits and increases vulnerability to adult psychopathology. Given the important stress-buffering role of endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling, we performed a comprehensive investigation of the developmental trajectory of the eCB system and the impact of exposure to early life stress induce...
Article
There is strong evidence that immune activation from prenatal infection increases the risk for offspring to develop schizophrenia. The endocannabinoid (eCB) system has been implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia while models of cortical dysfunction postulate an imbalance between neuronal excitation and inhibition in the disorder. The cu...
Article
Full-text available
Background and purpose: Stress is known to reduce food intake. Many aspects of the stress response and feeding are regulated by the endocannabinoid (eCB) system, but the roles of anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) in stress-induced anorexia are unclear. Experimental approach: Effects of acute restraint stress on eCBs were invest...
Article
Endocannabinoid signaling regulates feeding and metabolic processes and has been linked to obesity development. Several hormonal signals, such as glucocorticoids and ghrelin, regulate feeding and metabolism by engaging the endocannabinoid system. Similarly, studies have suggested that leptin interacts with the endocannabinoid system, yet the mechan...
Article
Background: The ability to effectively cope with stress is a critical determinant of disease susceptibility. The lateral habenula (LHb) and the endocannabinoid (ECB) system have independently been shown to be involved in the selection of stress coping strategies, yet the role of ECB signaling in the LHb remains unknown. Methods: Using a battery...
Preprint
Prolonged neurotransmitter release following synaptic stimulation extends the time window for postsynaptic neurons to respond to presynaptic activity. This can enhance excitability and increase synchrony of outputs, but the prevalence of this at normally highly synchronous synapses is unclear. We show that the postsynaptic channel, pannexin-1 (Panx...
Article
Early-life stress (ELS) creates life-long vulnerability to stress-related anxiety disorders through altering stress and fear systems in the brain. The endocannabinoid system has emerged as an important regulator of the stress response through a crosstalk with the glucocorticoid system, yet whether it plays a role in the persistent effects of ELS re...
Article
Exposure to a traumatic event may result in the development of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Endocannabinoids are crucial modulators of the stress response, interfere with excessive retrieval and facilitate the extinction of traumatic memories. Exposure therapy, combined with pharmacotherapy, represents a promising tool for PTSD treatment....
Article
Exposure to stress is an undeniable, but in most cases surmountable, part of life. However, in certain individuals, exposure to severe or cumulative stressors can lead to an array of pathological conditions including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), characterized by debilitating trauma-related intrusive thoughts, avoidance behaviors, hyperarou...
Chapter
The stress response is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism to both allow an organism to cope with a threat and to restore homeostasis following exposure to a stressor. With respect to this response, preclinical research demonstrates that the endogenous cannabinoid (ECB) system constrains the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and plays a major r...
Article
Alcohol dependence is associated with anxiety during withdrawal. The endocannabinoid (ECB) system participates in the neuroendocrine and behavioral response to stress and changes in corticolimbic ECB signaling may contribute to alcohol withdrawal-induced anxiety. Moreover, symptoms of alcohol withdrawal differ between sexes and sexual dimorphism in...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Acceptance of cannabis use is growing. However, prolonged use is associated with diminished psychosocial outcomes, potentially mediated by drug-induced cognitive impairments. Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, yet other phytocannabinoids in the plant, such as cannabidiol (CBD), have unique pr...
Article
Imaging genetics and genomics research has begun to provide insight into the molecular and genetic architecture of neural phenotypes and the neural mechanisms through which genetic risk for psychopathology may emerge. As it approaches its third decade, imaging genetics is confronted by many challenges including the proliferation of studies using sm...
Article
A large body of evidence has been brought forward connecting developmental immune activation to abnormal fear and anxiety levels. Anxiety disorders have extremely high lifetime prevalence, yet susceptibility factors that contribute to their emergence are poorly understood. In this research we investigated whether an inflammatory insult early in lif...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Acceptance of cannabis use is growing. However, prolonged use is associated with diminished psychosocial outcomes, potentially mediated by drug-induced cognitive impairments. Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, yet other phytocannabinoids in the plant, such as cannabidiol (CBD), have unique pr...
Article
Systemic activation of cannabinoid receptors often induces biphasic effects on emotional memory and anxiety depending on the levels of emotional arousal associated to the experimental context. The basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA) represents a crucial structure for the ability of endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling to modulate emotional behavio...
Article
Early-life inflammation has been shown to exert profound effects on brain development and behavior, including altered emotional behavior, stress responsivity and neurochemical/neuropeptide receptor expression and function. The current study extends this research by examining the impact of inflammation, triggered with the bacterial compound lipopoly...
Data
Statistical data summary for Figure 1d: input/output curves of eIPSC using repeated measures two-way ANOVA.DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14653.004
Data
Statistical data summary for Figure 3e,f: Effect of IPA3 on frequency and amplitude of mIPSC of WT and PAK1 KO neurons using two-way ANOVA.DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14653.013