An Agathokakological tale of ∆9 -THC: Exploration of Possible Biological Targets

“∆ 9 -Tetrahydrocannabinol (∆9 -THC), the active phytocannabinoid in cannabis, is virtually an adjunct to the endogenous endocannabinoid signaling system.

By interacting with G-protein-coupled receptors CB1 and CB2, ∆9 -THC affects peripheral and central circulation by lowering sympathetic activity, altering gene expression, cell proliferation, and differentiation, decreasing leukocyte migration, modulating neurotransmitter release thereby modulating cardiovascular functioning, tumorigenesis, immune responses, behavioral and locomotory activities respectively.

∆ 9 -THC is effective in suppressing chemotherapy-induced vomiting, retards malignant tumor growth, inhibits metastasis, and promotes apoptosis. Other mechanisms involved are targeting cell cycle at the G2-M phase in human breast cancer, downregulation of E2F transcription factor 1 (E2F1) in human glioblastoma multiforme, and stimulation of ER stress-induced autophagy.

∆ 9 -THC also plays a role in ameliorating neuroinflammation, excitotoxicity, neuroplasticity, trauma, and stroke and is associated with reliving childhood epilepsy, brain trauma, and neurodegenerative diseases.

∆9 -THC via CB1 receptors affects nociception, emotion, memory, and reduces neuronal excitability and excitotoxicity in epilepsy. It also increases renal blood flow, reduces intraocular pressure via a sympathetic pathway, and modulates hormonal release, thereby decreasing the reproductive function and increasing glucose metabolism.

Versatile medical marijuana has stimulated abundant research demonstrating substantial therapeutic promise, suggesting the possibilities of first-in-class drugs in diverse therapeutic segments. In this review, we represent the current pharmacological status of the phytocannabinoid, ∆ 9 -THC, and synthetic analogs in cancer, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative disorders.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33001012/

https://www.eurekaselect.com/186455/article

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Cannabinoid Effects on Experimental Colorectal Cancer Models Reduce Aberrant Crypt Foci (ACF) and Tumor Volume: A Systematic Review

See the source image “Colorectal cancer represents a heavy burden for health systems worldwide, being the third most common cancer worldwide. Despite the breakthroughs in medicine, current chemotherapeutic options continue to have important side effects and may not be effective in preventing disease progression.

Cannabinoids might be substances with possible therapeutic potential for cancer because they can attenuate the side effects of chemotherapy and have antiproliferative and antimetastatic effects.

We aim to determine, through a systematic review of experimental studies performed on animal CRC models, if cannabinoids can reduce the formation of preneoplastic lesions (aberrant crypt foci), number, and volume of neoplastic lesions.

Results: Eight in vivo experimental studies were included in the analysis after the full-text evaluation. Seven studies were azoxymethane (AOM) colorectal cancer models, and four studies were xenograft models. Cannabidiol botanical substance (CBD BS) and rimonabant achieved high aberrant crypt foci (ACF) reduction (86% and 75.4%, respectively). Cannabigerol, O-1602, and URB-602 demonstrated a high capacity for tumor volume reduction. Induction of apoptosis, interaction with cell survival, growth pathways, and angiogenesis inhibition were the mechanisms extracted from the studies that explain cannabinoids’ actions on CRC.

Conclusions: Cannabinoids have incredible potential as antineoplastic agents as experimental models demonstrate that they can reduce tumor volume and ACF formation. It is crucial to conduct more experimental studies to understand the pharmacology of cannabinoids in CRC better.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32765628/

“Current literature findings demonstrate that cannabinoids might have potential as antineoplastic agents because they can reduce tumor volume and ACF formation.”

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2020/2371527/

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The role of cannabinoids in the treatment of cancer.

“The aim of this review article is to summarize current knowledge about the role of cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors in tumor disease modulation and to evaluate comprehensively the use of cannabinoids in cancer patients.

METHOD:

According to the PRISMA protocol, we have included data from a total of 105 articles.

RESULTS:

Cannabinoids affect cancer progression by three mechanisms. The most important mechanism is the stimulation of autophagy and affecting the signaling pathways leading to apoptosis. The most important mechanism of this process is the accumulation of ceramide. Cannabinoids also stimulate apoptosis by mechanisms independent of autophagy. Other mechanisms by which cannabinoids affect tumor growth are inhibition of tumor angiogenesis, invasiveness, metastasis, and the modulation of the anti-tumor immune response.

CONCLUSION:

In addition to the symptomatic therapy of cancer patients, the antitumor effects of cannabinoids (whether in monotherapy or in combination with other cancer therapies) have promising potential in the treatment of cancer patients. More clinical trials are needed to demonstrate the antitumor effect of cannabinoids.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31950844

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Flavonoid Derivative of Cannabis Demonstrates Therapeutic Potential in Preclinical Models of Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer.

Image result for frontiers oncology“Pancreatic cancer is particularly refractory to modern therapies, with a 5-year survival rate for patients at a dismal 8%.

One of the significant barriers to effective treatment is the immunosuppressive pancreatic tumor microenvironment and development of resistance to treatment. New treatment options to increase both the survival and quality of life of patients are urgently needed.

This study reports on a new non-cannabinoid, non-psychoactive derivative of cannabis, termed FBL-03G, with the potential to treat pancreatic cancer.

In vitro results show major increase in apoptosis and consequential decrease in survival for two pancreatic cancer models- Panc-02 and KPC pancreatic cancer cells treated with varying concentrations of FBL-03G and radiotherapy.

Meanwhile, in vivo results demonstrate therapeutic efficacy in delaying both local and metastatic tumor progression in animal models with pancreatic cancer when using FBL-03G sustainably delivered from smart radiotherapy biomaterials.

Repeated experiments also showed significant (P < 0.0001) increase in survival for animals with pancreatic cancer compared to control cohorts.

The findings demonstrate the potential for this new cannabis derivative in the treatment of both localized and advanced pancreatic cancer, providing impetus for further studies toward clinical translation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31396485

“In this study, a flavonoid derivative of cannabis demonstrates significant therapy potential in the treatment of pancreatic cancer, including radio-sensitizing and cancer metastasis treatment potential. The results justify further studies to optimize therapy outcomes toward clinical translation.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fonc.2019.00660/full

“Flavonoids as anticancer agents: structure-activity relationship study.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12678721

“The antitumor activities of flavonoids.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16097445

“Anticancer properties of flavonoids: roles in various stages of carcinogenesis.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21644918

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Down-Regulation of Cannabinoid Type 1 (CB1) Receptor and its Downstream Signaling Pathways in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer.

 cancers-logo“Changes in the regulation of endocannabinoid production, together with an altered expression of their receptors are hallmarks of cancer, including colorectal cancer (CRC). Although several studies have been conducted to understand the biological role of the CB1 receptor in cancer, little is known about its involvement in the metastatic process of CRC. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible link between CB1 receptor expression and the presence of metastasis in patients with CRC, investigating the main signaling pathways elicited downstream of CB1 receptor in colon cancer. Fifty-nine consecutive patients, with histologically proven colorectal cancer, were enrolled in the study, of which 30 patients with synchronous metastasis, at first diagnosis and 29 without metastasis. A low expression of CB1 receptor were detected in primary tumor tissue of CRC patients with metastasis and consequently, we observed an alteration of CB1 receptor downstream signaling. These signaling routes were also altered in intestinal normal mucosa, suggesting that, normal mucosa surrounding the tumor provides a realistic picture of the molecules involved in tissue malignant transformation. These observations contribute to the idea that drugs able to induce CB1 receptor expression can be helpful in order to set new anticancer therapeutic strategies.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31121931

https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6694/11/5/708

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Cannabinoid WIN 55,212-2 induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, and inhibits proliferation, migration, invasion, and tumor growth in prostate cancer in a cannabinoid-receptor 2 dependent manner.

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“Cannabinoids have demonstrated anticarcinogenic properties in a variety of malignancies, including in prostate cancer.

In the present study, we explored the anti-cancer effects of the synthetic cannabinoid WIN 55,212-2 (WIN) in prostate cancer.

RESULTS:

WIN significantly reduced prostate cancer cell proliferation, migration, invasion, induced apoptosis, and arrested cells in Go/G1 phase in a dose-dependent manner. Mechanistic studies revealed these effects were mediated through a pathway involving cell cycle regulators p27, Cdk4, and pRb. Pre-treatment with a CB2 antagonist, AM630, followed by treatment with WIN resulted in a reversal of the anti-proliferation and cell cycle arrest previously seen with WIN alone. In vivo, administration of WIN resulted in a reduction in the tumor growth rate compared to control (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

The following study provides evidence supporting the use of WIN as a novel therapeutic for prostate cancer.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30242861

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/pros.23720

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Identification of Synergistic Interaction Between Cannabis-Derived Compounds for Cytotoxic Activity in Colorectal Cancer Cell Lines and Colon Polyps That Induces Apoptosis-Related Cell Death and Distinct Gene Expression.

Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research cover image

“Colorectal cancer remains the third most common cancer diagnosis and fourth leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Purified cannabinoids have been reported to prevent proliferation, metastasis, and induce apoptosis in a variety of cancer cell types. However, the active compounds from Cannabis sativa flowers and their interactions remain elusive.

Research Aim: This study was aimed to specify the cytotoxic effect of C. sativa-derived extracts on colon cancer cells and adenomatous polyps by identification of active compound(s) and characterization of their interaction.

Conclusions:C. sativa compounds interact synergistically for cytotoxic activity against colon cancer cells and induce cell cycle arrest, apoptotic cell death, and distinct gene expression. F3, F7, and F7+F3 are also active on adenomatous polyps, suggesting possible future therapeutic value.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29992185

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2018.0010

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Assessment of Cannabinoids Agonist and Antagonist in Invasion Potential of K562 Cancer Cells

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“The prominent hallmark of malignancies is the metastatic spread of cancer cells. Recent studies have reported that the nature of invasive cells could be changed after this phenomenon, causing chemotherapy resistance.

It has been demonstrated that the up-regulated expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 2/MMP-9, as a metastasis biomarker, can fortify the metastatic potential of leukemia.

Furthermore, investigations have confirmed the inhibitory effect of cannabinoid and endocannabinoid on the proliferation of cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.

Our findings clarifies that CB1 receptors are responsible for anti-invasive effects in the K562 cell line.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29883990

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∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition and metastasis by targeting matrix metalloproteinase-9 in endometrial cancer.

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“Limited therapeutic interventions are clinically available for treating aggressive endometrial cancer (EC). Therefore, effective therapies are urgently required.

Therefore, the present study investigated the role of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is reported to impact proliferative and migratory activities during impairment of cancer progression.

In the present study, cell migration in response to THC was measured using transwell assays. Using western blot analysis, the levels of cannabinoid receptors in EC tissues were detected and pathways leading to the inhibition of cell migration by THC on human EC cells were determined.

Results suggested that cannabinoid receptors were highly expressed in EC tissues.

Furthermore, THC inhibited EC cell viability and motility by inhibiting epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and downregulating matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) gene expression in aggressive human EC cells.

The results have the potential to promote the development of novel compounds for the treatment of EC metastasis. The present findings suggest that THC may inhibit human EC cell migration through regulating EMT and MMP-9 pathways.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29805589

https://www.spandidos-publications.com/10.3892/ol.2018.8407

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Targeting cannabinoid receptors in gastrointestinal cancers for therapeutic uses: current status and future perspectives

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“A number of studies have consistently shown that cannabinoids are able to prevent or reduce carcinogenesis in different animal models of colon cancer.

Cannabinoids, via CB1 and possibly CB2 receptors, suppress proliferation and migration and stimulate apoptosis in colorectal cancer cells.

Convincing scientific evidence suggests that cannabinoids, in addition to their well-known use in palliative care in oncology (e.g. improvement of appetite, attenuation of nausea associated to antitumoral medicines, alleviation of moderate neuropathic pain) can reduce, via antiproliferative and proapoptotic as well as by inhibiting angiogenesis, invasion and metastasis or by attenuating inflammation, the growth of cancer cells and hinder the development of experimental colon carcinogenesis in vivo.”

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17474124.2017.1367663?src=recsys

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