Cannabidiol converts NFκB into a tumor suppressor in glioblastoma with defined antioxidative properties

ISNO: Indian Society of Neuro-Oncology “The transcription factor NFκB drives neoplastic progression of many cancers including primary brain tumors (glioblastoma; GBM). Precise therapeutic modulation of NFκB activity can suppress central oncogenic signalling pathways in GBM, but clinically applicable compounds to achieve this goal have remained elusive.

Methods: In a pharmacogenomics study with a panel of transgenic glioma cells we observed that NFκB can be converted into a tumor suppressor by the non-psychotropic cannabinoid Cannabidiol (CBD). Subsequently, we investigated the anti-tumor effects of CBD, which is used as an anticonvulsive drug (Epidiolex) in pediatric neurology, in a larger set of human primary GBM stem-like cells (hGSC). For this study we performed pharmacological assays, gene expression profiling, biochemical and cell-biological experiments. We validated our findings using orthotopic in vivo models and bioinformatics analysis of human GBM-datasets.

Results: We found that CBD promotes DNA binding of the NFκB subunit RELA and simultaneously prevents RELA-phosphorylation on serine-311, a key residue which permits genetic transactivation. Strikingly, sustained DNA binding by RELA lacking phospho-serine 311 was found to mediate hGSC cytotoxicity. Widespread sensitivity to CBD was observed in a cohort of hGSC defined by low levels of reactive oxygen-species (ROS), while high ROS-content in other tumors blocked CBD induced hGSC death. Consequently, ROS levels served as predictive biomarker for CBD-sensitive tumors.

Conclusions: This evidence demonstrates how a clinically approved drug can convert NFκB into a tumor suppressor and suggests a promising repurposing option for GBM-therapy.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33864076/

https://academic.oup.com/neuro-oncology/advance-article/doi/10.1093/neuonc/noab095/6231710

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In silico inquest reveals the efficacy of Cannabis in the treatment of post-Covid-19 related neurodegeneration

Publication Cover “Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of the Covid-19 pandemic has proved itself as the deadliest pathogen. A major portion of the population has become susceptible to this strain. Scientists are pushing their limits to formulate a vaccine against Covid-19 with the least side effects.

Although the recent discoveries of vaccines have shown some relief from the covid infection rate, however, physical fatigue, mental abnormalities, inflammation and other multiple organ damages are arising as post-Covid symptoms. The long-term effects of these symptoms are massive. Patients with such symptoms are known as long-haulers and treatment strategy against this condition is still unknown.

In this study, we tried to explore a strategy to deal with the post-Covid symptoms. We targeted three human proteins namely ACE2, Interleukin-6, Transmembrane serine protease and NRP1 which are already reported to be damaged via Covid-19 proteins and upregulated in the post-Covid stage. Our target plant in this study is Cannabis (popularly known as ‘Ganja’ in India).

The molecular docking and simulation studies revealed that Cannabidiol (CBD) and Cannabivarin (CVN) obtained from Cannabis can bind to post-Covid symptoms related central nervous system (CNS) proteins and downregulate them which can be beneficial in post-covid symptoms treatment strategy. Thus we propose Cannabis as an important therapeutic plant against post-Covid symptoms.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33810774/

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07391102.2021.1905556?journalCode=tbsd20

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Different Cannabis sativa Extraction Methods Result in Different Biological Activities against a Colon Cancer Cell Line and Healthy Colon Cells

plants-logo“Cannabis sativa is one of the oldest medicinal plants used by humans, containing hundreds of bioactive compounds. The biological effects and interplay of these compounds are far from fully understood, although the plant’s therapeutic effects are beyond doubt.

Extraction methods for these compounds are becoming an integral part of modern Cannabis-based medicine. Still, little is known about how different methods affect the final composition of Cannabis extracts and thus, their therapeutic effects.

In this study, different extraction methods were tested, namely maceration, Soxhlet, ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE), and supercritical CO2 extraction methods. The obtained extracts were evaluated for their cannabinoid content, antioxidant properties, and in vitro bioactivity on human colon cancer and healthy colon cells.

Our data suggest that Cannabis extracts, when properly prepared, can significantly decrease cancer cell viability while protecting healthy cells from cytotoxic effects.

However, post-processing of extracts poses a significant limitation in predicting therapeutic response based on the composition of the crude extract, as it affects not only the actual amounts of the respective cannabinoids but also their relative ratio to the primary extracts. These effects must be carefully considered in the future preparations of new therapeutic extracts.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33802757/

https://www.mdpi.com/2223-7747/10/3/566

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Molecular Mechanism of Autophagy and Its Regulation by Cannabinoids in Cancer

cancers-logo“Autophagy is a “self-degradation” process whereby malfunctioned cytoplasmic constituents and protein aggregates are engulfed by a vesicle called the autophagosome, and subsequently degraded by the lysosome. Autophagy plays a crucial role in sustaining protein homeostasis and can be an alternative source of energy under detrimental circumstances. Studies have demonstrated a paradoxical function for autophagy in cancer, displaying both tumour suppressive and tumour promotive roles. In early phases of tumour development autophagy promotes cancer cell death. In later phases, autophagy enables cancer cells to survive and withstand therapy.

Cannabinoids, which are derivatives of the Cannabis sativa L. plant, have shown to be associated with autophagy induction in cells. There is an emerging interest in studying the signalling pathways involved in cannabinoid-induced autophagy and their potential application in anticancer therapies. In this review, the molecular mechanisms involved in the autophagy degradation process will be discussed. This review also highlights a role for autophagy in cancer progression, with cannabinoid-induced autophagy presenting a novel strategy for anticancer therapy.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33802014/

“This review examines the complex function of autophagy in malignancy and explores its regulation by cannabinoids in different cancers. Autophagy is an important process in the maintenance of cellular homeostasis, through the degradation and recycling of cytoplasmic constituents. The action of autophagy is highly dependent on tumour stage and type and the receptors with which ligands interact. Cannabinoids are growingly being acknowledged for their anticancer activities and are known to stimulate several mechanisms such as apoptosis and autophagy. Better understanding the mechanism of action behind autophagy and its regulation by cannabinoids will allow the development of novel cancer therapeutics.”
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THC Reduces Ki67-Immunoreactive Cells Derived from Human Primary Glioblastoma in a GPR55-Dependent Manner

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“Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most frequent malignant tumor of the central nervous system in humans with a median survival time of less than 15 months.

9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the best-characterized components of Cannabis sativa plants with modulating effects on cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2) and on orphan receptors such as GPR18 or GPR55. Previous studies have demonstrated anti-tumorigenic effects of THC and CBD in several tumor entities including GBM, mostly mediated via CB1 or CB2.

In this study, we investigated the non-CB1/CB2 effects of THC on the cell cycle of GBM cells isolated from human tumor samples.

Cell cycle entry was measured after 24 h upon exposure by immunocytochemical analysis of Ki67 as proliferation marker. The Ki67-reducing effect of THC was abolished in the presence of CBD, whereas CBD alone did not cause any changes. To identify the responsible receptor for THC effects, we first characterized the cells regarding their expression of different cannabinoid receptors: CB1, CB2, GPR18, and GPR55. Secondly, the receptors were pharmacologically blocked by application of their selective antagonists AM281, AM630, O-1918, and CID16020046 (CID), respectively. All examined cells expressed the receptors, but only in presence of the GPR55 antagonist CID was the THC effect diminished. Stimulation with the GPR55 agonist lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI) revealed similar effects as obtained for THC. The LPI effects were also inhibited by CBD and CID, confirming a participation of GPR55 and suggesting its involvement in modifying the cell cycle of patient-derived GBM cells.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33802282/

“Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most frequent primary brain tumor entity with poor prognosis and resistance to current standard therapies. Cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are discussed as promising compounds for individualized treatment, as they exert anti-tumor effects by binding to cannabinoid-specific receptors. However, their pharmacology is highly diverse and complex. The present study was designed to verify (1) whether cannabinoids show even any effect in GBM cells derived from primary human tumor samples and (2) to identify the receptor responsible for those effects. Our findings revealed that THC reduces the number of Ki67 immunoreactive nuclei, a cell cycle marker through the orphan cannabinoid receptor GPR55. The data suggest a therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in those GBM with functional and responsive GPR55.”

https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6694/13/5/1064

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Non-Cannabinoid Metabolites of Cannabis sativa L. with Therapeutic Potential

plants-logo“The cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa L.) produces an estimated 545 chemical compounds of different biogenetic classes. In addition to economic value, many of these phytochemicals have medicinal and physiological activity. The plant is most popularly known for its two most-prominent and most-studied secondary metabolites-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Both Δ9-THC and CBD have a wide therapeutic window across many ailments and form part of a class of secondary metabolites called cannabinoids-of which approximately over 104 exist.

This review will focus on non-cannabinoid metabolites of Cannabis sativa that also have therapeutic potential, some of which share medicinal properties similar to those of cannabinoids. The most notable of these non-cannabinoid phytochemicals are flavonoids and terpenes. We will also discuss future directions in cannabis research and development of cannabis-based pharmaceuticals. Caflanone, a flavonoid molecule with selective activity against the human viruses including the coronavirus OC43 (HCov-OC43) that is responsible for COVID-19, and certain cancers, is one of the most promising non-cannabinoid molecules that is being advanced into clinical trials.

As validated by thousands of years of the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, vast anecdotal evidence abounds on the medicinal benefits of the plant. These benefits are attributed to the many phytochemicals in this plant, including non-cannabinoids. The most promising non-cannabinoids with potential to alleviate global disease burdens are discussed.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33672441/

https://www.mdpi.com/2223-7747/10/2/400

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Unveiling the mechanism of action behind the anti-cancer properties of cannabinoids in ER + breast cancer cells: impact on aromatase and steroid receptors

The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology“Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in women worldwide. In the last years, cannabinoids have gained attention in the clinical setting and clinical trials with cannabinoid-based preparations are underway. However, contradictory anti-tumour properties have also been reported. Thus, the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms behind their anti-tumour efficacy is crucial to better understand its therapeutic potential.

Considering this, our work aims to clarify the molecular mechanisms underlying the anti-cancer properties of the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA) and of the phytocannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer cells that overexpress aromatase (MCF-7aro). Their in vitro effects on cell proliferation, cell death and activity/expression of aromatase, ERα, ERβ and AR were investigated.

Our results demonstrated that cannabinoids disrupted MCF-7aro cell cycle progression. Unlike AEA and THC that induced apoptosis, CBD triggered autophagy to promote apoptotic cell death. Interestingly, all cannabinoids reduced aromatase and ERα expression levels in cells. On the other hand, AEA and CBD not only exhibited high anti-aromatase activity but also induced up-regulation of ERβ. Therefore, all cannabinoids, albeit by different actions, target aromatase and ERs, impairing, in that way, the growth of ER+ breast cancer cells, which is dependent on estrogen signalling.

As aromatase and ERs are key targets for ER+ breast cancer treatment, cannabinoids can be considered as potential and attractive therapeutic compounds for this type of cancer, being CBD the most promising one. Thus, from an in vitro perspective, this work may contribute to the growing mass of evidence of cannabinoids and cannabinoids-based medicines as potential anti-cancer drugs.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33722705/

“AEA and THC induce apoptosis in ER+ breast cancer cells, while CBD trigger autophagy to promote apoptosis. AEATHC and CBD impair growth of ER+ breast cancer cells, by disrupting cycle progression. AEATHC and CBD affect aromatase and ERα expression levels in ER+ breast cancer cells. AEA and CBD strongly inhibited aromatase activity and up-regulated ERβ levels. Cannabinoids are considered potential therapeutic compounds for ER+ breast cancer, being CBD the most promising one.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0960076021000698?via%3Dihub

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Cannabidiol Inhibits SARS-CoV-2 Replication and Promotes the Host Innate Immune Response

bioRxiv“The rapid spread of COVID-19 underscores the need for new treatments.

Here we report that cannabidiol (CBD), a compound produced by the cannabis plant, inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection. CBD and its metabolite, 7-OH-CBD, but not congeneric cannabinoids, potently block SARS-CoV-2 replication in lung epithelial cells.

CBD acts after cellular infection, inhibiting viral gene expression and reversing many effects of SARS-CoV-2 on host gene transcription. CBD induces interferon expression and up-regulates its antiviral signaling pathway. A cohort of human patients previously taking CBD had significantly lower SARS-CoV-2 infection incidence of up to an order of magnitude relative to matched pairs or the general population.

This study highlights CBD, and its active metabolite, 7-OH-CBD, as potential preventative agents and therapeutic treatments for SARS-CoV-2 at early stages of infection.”

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.03.10.432967v1

“Cannabis compound inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication in human lung cells”   https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210314/Cannabis-compound-inhibits-SARS-CoV-2-replication-in-human-lung-cells.aspx

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Fighting the storm: could novel anti-TNFα and anti-IL-6 C. sativa cultivars tame cytokine storm in COVID-19?

 Aging“The main aspects of severe COVID-19 disease pathogenesis include hyper-induction of proinflammatory cytokines, also known as ‘cytokine storm’, that precedes acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and often leads to death. COVID-19 patients often suffer from lung fibrosis, a serious and untreatable condition. There remains no effective treatment for these complications.

Out of all cytokines, TNFα and IL-6 play crucial roles in cytokine storm pathogenesis and are likely responsible for the escalation in disease severity. These cytokines also partake in the molecular pathogenesis of fibrosis. Therefore, new approaches are urgently needed, that can efficiently and swiftly downregulate TNFα, IL-6, and the inflammatory cytokine cascade, in order to curb inflammation and prevent fibrosis, and lead to disease remission.

Cannabis sativa has been proposed to modulate gene expression and inflammation and is under investigation for several potential therapeutic applications against autoinflammatory diseases and cancer. Here, we hypothesized that the extracts of novel C. sativa cultivars may be used to downregulate the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and pathways involved in inflammation and fibrosis.

Novel anti-TNFα and anti-IL-6 cannabis extracts can be useful additions to the current anti-inflammatory regimens to treat COVID-19, as well as various rheumatological diseases and conditions, and ‘inflammaging’ – the inflammatory underpinning of aging and frailty.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33465050/

https://www.aging-us.com/article/202500/text

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A cannabidiol-loaded Mg-gallate metal-organic framework-based potential therapeutic for glioblastomas

 “Cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown to slow cancer cell growth and is toxic to human glioblastoma cell lines. Thus, CBD could be an effective therapeutic for glioblastoma.

In the present study, we explored the anticancer effect of cannabidiol loaded magnesium-gallate (CBD/Mg-GA) metal-organic framework (MOF) using the rat glioma brain cancer (C6) cell line.

Bioactive and microporous magnesium gallate MOF was employed for simultaneous delivery of two potential anticancer agents (gallic acid and CBD) to the cancer cells. Gallic acid (GA), a polyphenolic compound, is part of the MOF framework, while CBD is loaded within the framework. Slow degradation of CBD/Mg-GA MOF in physiological fluids leads to sustained release of GA and CBD.

CBD’s anti-cancer actions target mitochondria, inducing their dysfunction and generation of harmful reactive oxygen species (ROS). Anticancer effects of CBD/Mg-GA include a significant increase in ROS production and a reduction in anti-inflammatory responses as reflected by a significant decrease in TNF-α expression levels. Molecular mechanisms that underlie these effects include the modulation of NF-κB expression, triggering the apoptotic cascades of glioma cells. CBD/Mg-GA MOF has potential anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.

Thus, the present study demonstrates that CBD/Mg-GA MOF may be a promising therapeutic for glioblastoma.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33657198/

https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2021/TB/D0TB02780D#!divAbstract

Graphical abstract: A cannabidiol-loaded Mg-gallate metal–organic framework-based potential therapeutic for glioblastomas

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