Online: 22 October 2020 (12:41:30 CEST)
Fibrosis is a condition characterized by thickening or/and scarring of various tissues. Fibrosis may develop in almost all tissues and organs, and it may be one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. It provokes excessive scarring that excels the usual wound healing response to trauma in numerous organs. Currently, very little can be done to prevent tissue fibrosis, and it is almost impossible to reverse it. Therefore, fibrosis is frequently associated with premature aging. In turn, aging is associated with more frequent incidences of fibrosis. Anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs are among the few treatments that may be efficient in preventing fibrosis. Numerous publications suggest that cannabinoids and extracts of Cannabis sativa have potent anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrogenic properties. In this review, we describe the types and mechanisms of fibrosis in various tissues and discuss various strategies for prevention and dealing with tissue fibrosis. We further introduce cannabinoids and their potential for the prevention and treatment of fibrosis, and therefore for extending healthy lifespan.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0077.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol; cannabidiol; cannabinoids; NLRP3 inflammasome; STAT3; TYK2; cytokine storm; interleukins; TNF-α; macrophages; primary lung bronchial epithelial cells
Online: 8 April 2022 (08:51:26 CEST)
Cannabinoids, mainly cannabidiol (CBD) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are the most studied group of compounds obtained from Cannabis sativa because of their several pharmaceutical properties. Current evidence suggests a crucial role of cannabinoids as potent anti-inflammatory agents for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases; however, the mechanisms remain largely unclear. Cytokine storm, a dysregulated severe inflammatory response by our immune system, is involved in the pathogenesis of numerous chronic inflammatory disorders, including coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which results in the accumulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Therefore, we hypothesized that CBD and THC reduce the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines by inhibiting key inflammatory signalling pathways. The nucleotide-binding and oligomerization domain (NOD)-like receptor family pyrin domain-containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome signalling has been implicated in a variety of chronic inflammatory diseases, which results in the release of pyroptotic cytokines, interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and IL-18. Likewise, the activation of the signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT3) causes increased expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. We studied the effects of CBD and THC on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammatory response in human THP-1 macrophages and primary human bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs). Our results revealed that CBD and, for the first time, THC, significantly inhibited NLRP3 inflammasome activation following LPS + ATP stimulation, leading to a reduction in the levels of IL-1β in THP-1 macrophages and HBECs. CBD attenuated the phosphorylation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and both cannabinoids inhibited the generation of oxidative stress post-LPS. Our multiplex ELISA data revealed that CBD and THC significantly diminished the levels of IL-6, IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) after LPS treatment in THP-1 macrophages and HBECs. In addition, the phosphorylation of STAT3 was significantly downregulated by CBD and THC in THP-1 macrophages and HBECs, which was in turn, attributed to the reduced phosphorylation of tyrosine kinase-2 (TYK2) by CBD and THC after LPS stimulation in these cells. Overall, CBD and THC were found to be effective in alleviating the LPS-induced cytokine storm in human macrophages and primary HBECs, at least via modulation of NLRP3 inflammasome and STAT3 signalling pathways. The encouraging results from this study warrant further investigation of these cannabinoids in vivo.