Phenolic Compounds Cannabidiol, Curcumin and Quercetin Cause Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Suppress Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Cells

ijms-logo“Anticancer activity of different phenols is documented, but underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Recently, we have shown that cannabidiol kills the cells of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) by a direct interaction with mitochondria, with their consequent dysfunction.

In the present study, cytotoxic effects of several phenolic compounds against human the T-ALL cell line Jurkat were tested by means of resazurin-based metabolic assay. To unravel underlying mechanisms, mitochondrial membrane potential (∆Ψm) and [Ca2+]m measurements were undertaken, and reactive oxygen species generation and cell death were evaluated by flow cytometry.

Three out of eight tested phenolics, cannabidiol, curcumin and quercetin, which displayed a significant cytotoxic effect, also dissipated the ∆Ψm and induced a significant [Ca2+]m increase, whereas inefficient phenols did not.

Dissipation of the ∆Ψm by cannabidiol was prevented by cyclosporine A and reverted by Ru360, inhibitors of the permeation transition pore and mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter, respectively. Ru360 prevented the phenol-induced [Ca2+]m rise, but neither cyclosporine A nor Ru360 affected the curcumin- and quercetin-induced ∆Ψm depolarization. Ru360 impeded the curcumin- and cannabidiol-induced cell death.

Thus, all three phenols exert their antileukemic activity via mitochondrial Ca2+ overload, whereas curcumin and quercetin suppress the metabolism of leukemic cells by direct mitochondrial uncoupling.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33379175/

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/22/1/204

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Dronabinol has preferential antileukemic activity in acute lymphoblastic and myeloid leukemia with lymphoid differentiation patterns

Biomed Central logo

“It has been previously demonstrated in several cancer models, that Dronabinol (THC) may have anti-tumor activity – however, controversial data exists for acute leukemia. We have anecdotal evidence that THC may have contributed to disease control in a patient with acute undifferentiated leukemia.

To test this hypothesis, we evaluated the antileukemic efficacy of THC in several leukemia cell lines and native leukemia blasts cultured ex vivo.

We here reveal a novel aspect of dronabinol, a cannabinoid derivative, which displays remarkable antiproliferative as well as proapoptotic efficacy in a distinct leukemia patient cohort – in vitro and in ex vivo native leukemia blasts. It has been previously reported that cannabinoids display anticancer properties. However, due to legal issues the use and exploration of such agents is highly limited in many countries.

Importantly, we demonstrate that antileukemic concentrations are achievable in vivo.

Our study provides rigorous data to support clinical evaluation of THC as a low-toxic therapy option in a well defined subset of acute leukemia patients.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26775260

http://bmccancer.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12885-015-2029-8

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