Inhibition of autophagic flux differently modulates cannabidiol induced death in 2D and 3D glioblastoma cell cultures

Ivanov, Vladimir N.; Grabham, Peter W.; Wu, Cheng-Chia; Hei, Tom K.

Radiotherapy combined with chemotherapy is the major treatment modality for human glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). GBMs eventually relapse after treatment and the average survival of GBM patients is less than two years. There is some evidence that cannabidiol (CBD) can induce cell death and increases the radiosensitivity of GBM by enhancing apoptosis. Beside initiation of death, CBD has been demonstrated as an inducer of autophagy. In the present study, we address the question whether CBD simultaneously induces a protective effect in GBM by upregulating autophagy. Addition of chloroquine that suppressed autophagic flux to 2D GBM cultures increased CBD-induced cell death, presenting proof for the protective autophagy. Blockage of autophagy upregulated radiation-induced cytotoxicity but only modestly affected the levels of cell death in CBD- or CBD/gamma-irradiated 3D GBM cultures. Furthermore, CBD enhanced the pro-apoptotic activities of JNK1/2 and MAPK p38 signaling cascades while partially downregulated the pro-survival PI3K-AKT cascade, thereby changing a balance between cell death and survival. Suppression of JNK activation partially reduced CBD-induced cell death in 3D GBM cultures. In contrast, co-treatment of CBD-targeted cells with inhibitors of PI3K-AKT-NF-kB, IKK-NF-kB or JAK2-STAT3 pathways killed surviving GBM cells in both 2D and 3D cultures, potentially improving the therapeutic ratio of GBM.


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Also Published In

Scientific Reports

More About This Work

Academic Units
Center for Radiological Research
Published Here
February 19, 2020


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