Hemp ( Cannabis sativa L.) Protein Hydrolysates Promote Anti-Inflammatory Response in Primary Human Monocytes

Biomolecules. 2020 May 22;10(5):803. doi: 10.3390/biom10050803.


Hemp seeds have a wide variety of chemical compounds which present biological activity. Specifically, the focus on proteins and bioactive peptides are increasing as alternative sources of nutraceutical uses. In the literature, hemp protein products (HPPs) have reported antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This study aimed to determine the inflammation-related modulatory effects of HPPs on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated primary human monocytes. CD14+ cells were immunomagnetically isolated from buffy coats and the anti-inflammatory activity of hemp protein isolate (HPI) and hydrolysates (HPHs) was evaluated on LPS-stimulated human primary monocytes. The specific markers of inflammation, polarization, and chemoattraction were measured by RT-qPCR and ELISA assays. Our results showed that HPPs decreased the pro-inflammatory mediators (TNFα, IL-1β, and IL-6) and increased the anti-inflammatory mediators (IL-10 and IL-4). In addition, M1 polarization marker gene expression (CCR7 and iNOS) was downregulated by HPPs and, M2 polarization marker gene expression (CD200R and MRC1) was upregulated. Finally, the mRNA expression of chemotaxis genes (CCR2 and CCL2) was downregulated by HPPs. In conclusion, this study suggests that HPPs may improve chronic inflammatory states and promote regenerative processes by reprogramming monocytes toward M2 polarization phenotype.

Keywords: hemp seed; inflammation; microglia; monocytes; peptides; polarization; protein hydrolysates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cannabis / chemistry*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chemokine CCL2 / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1beta / metabolism
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Lipopolysaccharides / toxicity
  • Monocytes / drug effects*
  • Monocytes / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / metabolism
  • Orexin Receptors / metabolism
  • Plant Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Protein Hydrolysates / pharmacology*
  • Receptors, CCR7 / metabolism
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • CCL2 protein, human
  • CCR7 protein, human
  • CD200R1 protein, human
  • Chemokine CCL2
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Interleukin-6
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Orexin Receptors
  • Plant Proteins
  • Protein Hydrolysates
  • Receptors, CCR7
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II