Low tetrahydrocannabinol Cannabis sativa products, also known as hemp products, have become widely available and their use in veterinary patients has become increasingly popular. Despite prevalence of use, the veterinary literature is lacking and evidence-based resource for cannabinoid efficacy. The most prevailing cannabinoid found in hemp is cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and becomes cannabidiol (CBD) during heat extraction; CBD has been studied for its direct anti-neoplastic properties alone and in combination with standard cancer therapies, yielding encouraging results. The objectives of our study were to explore the anti-proliferative and cell death response associated with in vitro treatment of canine cancer cell lines with CBD alone and combination with common chemotherapeutics, as well as investigation into major proliferative pathways (eg, p38, JNK, AKT and mTOR) potentially involved in the response to treatment with CBD. CBD significantly reduced canine cancer cell proliferation far better than CBDA across five canine neoplastic cell lines when treated with concentrations ranging from 2.5 to 10 μg/mL. Combinatory treatment with CBD and vincristine reduced cell proliferation in a synergistic or additive manner at anti-proliferative concentrations with less clear results using doxorubicin in combination with CBD. The cellular signalling effects of CBD treatment, showed that autophagy supervened induction of apoptosis and may be related to prompt induction of ERK and JNK phosphorylation prior to autophagy. In conclusion, CBD is effective at hindering cell proliferation and induction of autophagy and apoptosis rapidly across neoplastic cell lines and further clinical trials are needed to understand its efficacy and interactions with traditional chemotherapy.
Keywords: LC3; SQSTM1/p62; annexin; cannabinoid; caspase; chemotherapy; synergy.
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