Cannabinoids induce glioma stem-like cell differentiation and inhibit gliomagenesis.
ABSTRACT Glioma stem-like cells constitute one of the potential origins of gliomas, and therefore, their elimination is an essential factor for the development of efficient therapeutic strategies. Cannabinoids are known to exert an antitumoral action on gliomas that relies on at least two mechanisms: induction of apoptosis of transformed cells and inhibition of tumor angiogenesis. However, whether cannabinoids target human glioma stem cells and their potential impact in gliomagenesis are unknown. Here, we show that glioma stem-like cells derived from glioblastoma multiforme biopsies and the glioma cell lines U87MG and U373MG express cannabinoid type 1 (CB(1)) and type 2 (CB(2)) receptors and other elements of the endocannabinoid system. In gene array experiments, CB receptor activation altered the expression of genes involved in the regulation of stem cell proliferation and differentiation. The cannabinoid agonists HU-210 and JWH-133 promoted glial differentiation in a CB receptor-dependent manner as shown by the increased number of S-100beta- and glial fibrillary acidic protein-expressing cells. In parallel, cannabinoids decreased the cell population expressing the neuroepithelial progenitor marker nestin. Moreover, cannabinoid challenge decreased the efficiency of glioma stem-like cells to initiate glioma formation in vivo, a finding that correlated with decreased neurosphere formation and cell proliferation in secondary xenografts. Gliomas derived from cannabinoid-treated cancer stem-like cells were characterized with a panel of neural markers and evidenced a more differentiated phenotype and a concomitant decrease in nestin expression. Overall, our results demonstrate that cannabinoids target glioma stem-like cells, promote their differentiation, and inhibit gliomagenesis, thus giving further support to their potential use in the management of malignant gliomas.
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ABSTRACT: Gliomas and medulloblastomas are the most frequent malignant brain tumors in adult and children respectively. Although both tumors arise in the CNS, there is a significant difference in their therapeutic response. Medulloblastomas are relatively curable, while glioblastomas are basically incurable. During the last decade several reports have demonstrated the existence of cancer stem cells in brain tumors, their location and their response to treatment. We have recently described the therapeutic response of medulloblastomas to radiation in their native microenvironment, illustrating how p53 and Pi3K signaling pathways lead to the evasion of cell death by the nestin-expressing cells in the perivascular stem cell niche, even while the bulk of tumor succumbs to apoptosis.(1) It remains to be determined whether this mechanism of tumor resistance applies to the more complex stem-cell niche and tumor bulk of gliomas.Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 06/2008; 7(10):1371-8. · 5.36 Impact Factor
Article: Molecular Mechanisms Involved in the Antitumor Activity of Cannabinoids on Gliomas: Role for Oxidative Stress[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Cannabinoids, the active components of Cannabis sativa, have been shown to exert antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects on a wide spectrum of tumor cells and tissues. Of interest, cannabinoids have displayed great potency in reducing the growth of glioma tumors, one of the most aggressive CNS tumors, either in vitro or in animal experimental models curbing the growth of xenografts generated by subcutaneous or intrathecal injection of glioma cells in immune-deficient mice. Cannabinoids appear to be selective antitumoral agents as they kill glioma cells without affecting the viability of non-transformed cells. This review will summarize the anti-cancer properties that cannabinoids exert on gliomas and discuss their potential action mechanisms that appear complex, involving modulation of multiple key cell signaling pathways and induction of oxidative stress in glioma cells.Cancers. 01/2010;
Article: Cannabinoids and gliomas.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Cannabinoids, the active components of Cannabis sativa L., act in the body by mimicking endogenous substances--the endocannabinoids--that activate specific cell surface receptors. Cannabinoids exert various palliative effects in cancer patients. In addition, cannabinoids inhibit the growth of different types of tumor cells, including glioma cells, in laboratory animals. They do so by modulating key cell signaling pathways, mostly the endoplasmic reticulum stress response, thereby inducing antitumoral actions such as the apoptotic death of tumor cells and the inhibition of tumor angiogenesis. Of interest, cannabinoids seem to be selective antitumoral compounds, as they kill glioma cells, but not their non-transformed astroglial counterparts. On the basis of these preclinical findings, a pilot clinical study of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme has been recently run. The good safety profile of THC, together with its possible growth-inhibiting action on tumor cells, justifies the setting up of future trials aimed at evaluating the potential antitumoral activity of cannabinoids.Molecular Neurobiology 09/2007; 36(1):60-7. · 5.74 Impact Factor