Cannabidiol (CBD) treatment prevented neuronal cell death, prolonged survival, and reduced toxic protein blocks in nematode models of nematodes. Parkinson’s diseasereports a new study.
“These findings support CBD as an anti-Parkinsonian drug,” the researchers wrote, adding that “this neuroprotective action of CBD may be due to its antioxidant properties….”
CBD is a compound derived from the hemp plant. CBD is not psychoactive—meaning it does not induce a “high”—but emerging research has shown that the molecule possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and Potential applications in Parkinson’s disease And other disorders being explored.
CBD test in Parkinson’s worms
In this study, researchers in China used a number of tests to evaluate the effect of CBD treatment on Certain types are eleganta type of nematode that is characterized as a laboratory model.
First, the researchers tested different concentrations of cannabidiol in healthy worms, at doses ranging from 0.025 to 0.4 micromolar (mm). The results showed that doses of 0.2 mM or higher were toxic to the worms, so for subsequent experiments, the team used three non-toxic doses: 0.025, 0.05, and 0.1 mM.
The scientists then tested these CBD concentrations in worms with typical Parkinson’s disease, induced via 6-OHDA. Causes Parkinson’s disease The death of the dopamine-producing cells in the brain. 6-OHDA is a chemical that is toxic to these cells.
The C. elegans The model used in this study was genetically engineered to express fluorescent proteins in neurons that synthesize dopamine. This allowed the scientists to easily detect these disease-related cells.
6-OHDA significantly reduced the fluorescent signal in these worms, indicating a decrease in the number of dopaminergic neurons. Treatment with CBD at concentrations of 0.025, 0.05, and 0.1 mM increased this fluorescent signal by 24.66%, 52.41%, and 71.36%, respectively, indicating that CBD prevented dopaminergic neuron death in this model.
Further results showed that pretreatment with CBD prolonged worms’ survival times on 6-OHDA, by 28.8% at the highest dose tested. In another worm model – one without a fluorescent cell – pretreatment of CBD prolonged survival by up to 45.1%.
CBD use also normalized foraging behavior, which was inactivated in nematodes given 6-OHDA because dopamine – a chemical messenger used for communication by neurons – is important for controlling feeding behavior in C. elegans.
Parkinson’s disease is characterized by the formation of toxic aggregates or clumps containing the alpha-synuclein protein, and these aggregates are believed to contribute to neuronal death and dysfunction in the disease.
In a series of additional experiments, the researchers tested the effects of CBD in worms that had been genetically modified to produce a lumpy form of alpha-synuclein with a fluorescent tag.
The results showed that CBD treatment reduced the fluorescent signal in these mice—by 40.6%, 56.3%, and 70.2% at doses of 0.025, 0.05, and 0.1 mM, respectively— indicating that it reduces toxic clumping of toxic alpha-synuclein.
Additional analyzes confirmed the decrease in alpha-synuclein clumping, and showed that CBD treatment helped normalize the activity of certain fatty molecules that are disrupted by the alpha-synuclein complex.
CBD treatment increased the activity of a cellular “garbage disposal” system called the ubiquitin-like proteasome system (UPS), and also showed antioxidant activity, reducing levels of toxic molecules called reactive oxygen species.
While the researchers emphasized that more research is needed to fully define CBD’s biological mechanisms of action and its potential therapeutic benefits in Parkinson’s disease, they said these findings broadly support CBD as a potential anti-Parkinson’s treatment.
They noted that this study “is the first report on the anti-Parkinson’s disease role of CBD in… C. elegansParkinson’s disease models.
“The worms have an easy culture method, a short life cycle with a simple neural network, and a conserved nervous system pathway,” the team wrote.