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FEBS Lett. 1999 Sep 24;458(3):400-4.

Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol induces apoptosis in human prostate PC-3 cells via a receptor-independent mechanism.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Alcalá, Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain.

Abstract

The effect of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major psycho-active component of marijuana, in human prostate cancer cells PC-3 was investigated. THC caused apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner. Morphological and biochemical changes induced by THC in prostate PC-3 cells shared the characteristics of an apoptotic phenomenon. First, loss of plasma membrane asymmetry determined by fluorescent anexin V binding. Second, presence of apoptotic bodies and nuclear fragmentation observed by DNA staining with 4',6-diamino-2-phenylindole (DAPI). Third, presence of typical 'ladder-patterned' DNA fragmentation. Central cannabinoid receptor expression was observed in PC-3 cells by immunofluorescence studies. However, several results indicated that the apoptotic effect was cannabinoid receptor-independent, such as lack of an effect of the potent cannabinoid agonist WIN 55,212-2, inability of cannabinoid antagonist AM 251 to prevent cellular death caused by THC and absence of an effect of pertussis toxin pre-treatment.

PMID:
10570948
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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