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Article

An Examination of the Anti-Cancer Properties of Plant Cannabinoids in Preclinical Models of Mesothelioma

1
Bill Walsh Translational Cancer Research Laboratory, Kolling Institute, St Leonards 2065, Australia
2
School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, Sydney 2006, Australia
3
Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics, University of Sydney, Sydney 2050, Australia
4
Department of Pharmacology, Sydney Pharmacy School, University of Sydney, Sydney 2006, Australia
5
Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney 2050, Australia
6
School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, Australia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Guillermo Velasco
Cancers 2022, 14(15), 3813; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14153813
Received: 24 June 2022 / Revised: 14 July 2022 / Accepted: 1 August 2022 / Published: 5 August 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Research on Mesothelioma)
Mesothelioma is a deadly disease with few treatment options. Phytocannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant are garnering interest for their anti-cancer properties, however very little is known about their effects in mesothelioma. We aimed to assess whether phytocannabinoids have anti-cancer effects in mesothelioma and potential modes of action. We showed that several phytocannabinoids inhibited growth of mesothelioma cells, with two phytocannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG), being the most potent. CBD and CBG also inhibited mesothelioma cell migration and invasion. Gene expression analysis highlighted signalling pathways that play a role in how CBD and CBG may exert their anti-cancer effects. CBD and CBG were unable to increase survival in a rat model of mesothelioma but this may be due to limitations in the drug delivery method.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer with limited treatment options and a poor prognosis. Phytocannabinoids possess anti-tumour and palliative properties in multiple cancers, however their effects in mesothelioma are unknown. We investigated the anti-cancer effects and potential mechanisms of action for several phytocannabinoids in mesothelioma cell lines. A panel of 13 phytocannabinoids inhibited growth of human (MSTO and H2452) and rat (II-45) mesothelioma cells in vitro, and cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG) were the most potent compounds. Treatment with CBD or CBG resulted in G0/G1 arrest, delayed entry into S phase and induced apoptosis. CBD and CBG also significantly reduced mesothelioma cell migration and invasion. These effects were supported by changes in the expression of genes associated with the cell cycle, proliferation, and cell movement following CBD or CBG treatment. Gene expression levels of CNR1, GPR55, and 5HT1A also increased with CBD or CBG treatment. However, treatment with CBD or CBG in a syngeneic orthotopic rat mesothelioma model was unable to increase survival. Our data show that cannabinoids have anti-cancer effects on mesothelioma cells in vitro and alternatives of drug delivery may be needed to enhance their effects in vivo. View Full-Text
Keywords: mesothelioma; cannabinoids; cannabidiol; cannabigerol; anti-proliferative; apoptosis mesothelioma; cannabinoids; cannabidiol; cannabigerol; anti-proliferative; apoptosis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Colvin, E.K.; Hudson, A.L.; Anderson, L.L.; Kumar, R.P.; McGregor, I.S.; Howell, V.M.; Arnold, J.C. An Examination of the Anti-Cancer Properties of Plant Cannabinoids in Preclinical Models of Mesothelioma. Cancers 2022, 14, 3813. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14153813

AMA Style

Colvin EK, Hudson AL, Anderson LL, Kumar RP, McGregor IS, Howell VM, Arnold JC. An Examination of the Anti-Cancer Properties of Plant Cannabinoids in Preclinical Models of Mesothelioma. Cancers. 2022; 14(15):3813. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14153813

Chicago/Turabian Style

Colvin, Emily K., Amanda L. Hudson, Lyndsey L. Anderson, Ramyashree Prasanna Kumar, Iain S. McGregor, Viive M. Howell, and Jonathon C. Arnold. 2022. "An Examination of the Anti-Cancer Properties of Plant Cannabinoids in Preclinical Models of Mesothelioma" Cancers 14, no. 15: 3813. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14153813

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