“Cannabidiol (CBD) has been used to treat a variety of cancers and inflammatory conditions with controversial results. In previous work, we have shown that breast cancer MCF-7 cells, selected by their response to inflammatory IL-1β cytokine, acquire a malignant phenotype (6D cells) through an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT).
We evaluated CBD as a potential inhibitor of this transition and inducer of reversion to a non-invasive phenotype. It decreased 6D cell viability, downregulating expression of receptor CB1. The CBD blocked migration and progression of the IL-1β-induced signaling pathway IL-1β/IL-1RI/β-catenin, the driver of EMT.
Cannabidiol reestablished the epithelial organization lost by dispersion of the cells and re-localized E-cadherin and β-catenin at the adherens junctions. It also prevented β-catenin nuclear translocation and decreased over-expression of genes for ∆Np63α, BIRC3, and ID1 proteins, induced by IL-1β for acquisition of malignant features.
Cannabidiol inhibited the protein kinase B (AKT) activation, a crucial effector in the IL-1β/IL-1RI/β-catenin pathway, indicating that at this point there is crosstalk between IL-1β and CBD signaling which results in phenotype reversion.
Our 6D cell system allowed step-by-step analysis of the phenotype transition and better understanding of mechanisms by which CBD blocks and reverts the effects of inflammatory IL-1β in the EMT.”