Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS

, Volume 63, Issue 17, pp 2057–2066

The non-psychoactive cannabidiol triggers caspase activation and oxidative stress in human glioma cells

  • P. Massi
  • A. Vaccani
  • S. Bianchessi
  • B. Costa
  • P. Macchi
  • D. Parolaro
Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00018-006-6156-x

Cite this article as:
Massi, P., Vaccani, A., Bianchessi, S. et al. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2006) 63: 2057. doi:10.1007/s00018-006-6156-x

Abstract.

Recently, we have shown that the non-psychoactive cannabinoid compound cannabidiol (CBD) induces apoptosis of glioma cells in vitro and tumor regression in vivo. The present study investigated a possible involvement of caspase activation and reactive oxygen species (ROS) induction in the apoptotic effect of CBD. CBD produced a gradual, time-dependent activation of caspase-3, which preceded the appearance of apoptotic death. In addiction, release of cytochrome c and caspase-9 and caspase-8 activation were detected. The exposure to CBD caused in glioma cells an early production of ROS, depletion of intracellular glutathione and increase activity of glutathione reductase and glutathione peroxidase enzymes. Under the same experimental condition, CBD did not impair primary glia. Thus, we found a different sensitivity to the anti-proliferative effect of CBD in human glioma cells and non-transformed cells that appears closely related to a selective ability of CBD in inducing ROS production and caspase activation in tumor cells.

Keywords.

Cannabidiolglioma cellscaspasesreactive oxygen speciesoxidative stressprimary glial culture

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Massi
    • 1
  • A. Vaccani
    • 2
  • S. Bianchessi
    • 2
  • B. Costa
    • 3
  • P. Macchi
    • 4
  • D. Parolaro
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, Chemotherapy and Medical ToxicologyUniversity of MilanMilanItaly
  2. 2.Department of Structural and Functional Biology, Pharmacology Section, Center of NeuroscienceUniversity of InsubriaBusto Arsizio, VareseItaly
  3. 3.Department of Biotechnology and BioscienceUniversity of Milano-BicoccaMilanoItaly
  4. 4.Center for Brain Research, Department of Neuronal BiologyMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria