The Transcriptomic Analysis of NSC-34 Motor Neuron-Like Cells Reveals That Cannabigerol Influences Synaptic Pathways: A Comparative Study with Cannabidiol

Life (Basel). 2020 Oct 1;10(10):227. doi: 10.3390/life10100227.


More than 120 cannabinoids were isolated from Cannabis sativa. In particular, Cannabidiol (CBD) and Cannabigerol (CBG) represent the two most studied non-psychoactive cannabinoids. However, CBG is less studied and less data are available on its biological properties and influence on synaptic transmission. On the contrary, CBD is already known to modulate brain excitatory glutamate, inhibitory γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and dopamine neurotransmission. In this study, using Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology, we evaluated how CBG (1 or 5 µM) and CBD (1 or 5 µM) influence the transcriptome of the main neurotransmission pathways in NSC-34 motor neuron-like cells. At first, we evaluated that CBG and CBD were not cytotoxic and decreased the expression of pro-apoptotic genes. CBG and CBD are able to influence the expression of the genes involved in glutamate, GABA and dopamine signaling. Interestingly, the transcriptional changes induced by CBG were similar compared to CBD.

Keywords: Cannabidiol; Cannabigerol; GABAergic synapses; Glutamatergic synapses; motor neuron-like cells; transcriptomic analysis.

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