“Aging-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) or related disorders, are an increasing societal and economic burden worldwide.
Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is discussed as a neuroprotective agent in several in vitro and in vivo models of brain injury. However, the mechanisms by which THC exhibits neuroprotective properties are not completely understood.
In the present study, we investigated neuroprotective mechanisms of THC in glutamate-induced neurotoxicity in primary murine mesencephalic cultures, as a culture model for PD.
THC protected dopaminergic neurons and other cell types of primary dissociated cultures from glutamate-induced neurotoxicity.
Moreover, THC significantly counteracted the glutamate-induced mitochondrial membrane depolarization and apoptosis.
In conclusion, THC exerts anti-apoptotic and restores mitochondrial membrane potential via a mechanism dependent on CB1 receptor.
It strengthens the fact that THC has a benefit on degenerative cellular processes occurring, among others, in PD and other neurodegenerative diseases by slowing down the progression of neuronal cell death.”