Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive compound commonly found in hemp and non-hemp plants. It has a molecular effect on cells, but its effect in modifying cellular signaling pathways has not been thoroughly tested until recently. Experimentation was done to determine whether CBD could induce cell death in MCF7 breast cancer cells. Both normal MCF7 cells and Cisplatin resistant MCF7 cells were used for these experiments. The cells were dosed with 0, 0.5, and 1.0 g/ml CBD dissolved in methanol. Later micrographs of the treated cells were collected and Annexin staining to determine the effect of CBD on cell death was conducted. Additionally, a Western blot and immunocytochemistry for Hsp27, a molecular indicator of cell stress, were performed. There were conflicting results across the tests that were conducted, but there was evidence that CBD had an effect on the viability and morphology of breast cancer cells. The Annexin staining showed no correlation between CBD dose and apoptosis, while Western blots showed no difference in Hsp27 expression across different doses of CBD with higher expression of Hsp27 in the chemoresistant MCF7 cell line. However, ICC imaging showed that higher CBD doses resulted in punctate Hsp27 localization. Light micrographs also showed vacuolization of the cells treated with CBD and a lower abundance of live cells in higher doses of CBD. Migration data supported CBD inhibited cell motility via a transwell migration assay. Further literature review was conducted in an effort to better understand these results in relationship to ovarian cancer cell lines. Since ovarian cancer is a highly aggressive, and highly metastatic form of cancer with little success in traditional treatment, a better understanding of the role of CBD in ovarian cancer research is warranted.
Dr. Merideth Krevosky, Thesis Advisor
Dr. Kenneth Adams, Committee Member
Dr. Joseph Seggio, Committee Member
Pontes, Liam. (2023). Cannabidiol as a Synergist in Chemotherapy. In BSU Honors Program Theses and Projects. Item 627. Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/honors_proj/627
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