Send to

Choose Destination
Toxicol Lett. 2010 May 19;195(1):68-74. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2010.02.012. Epub 2010 Feb 23.

Cannabidiol hydroxyquinone-induced apoptosis of splenocytes is mediated predominantly by thiol depletion.

Author information

Department and Graduate Institute of Veterinary Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, National Taiwan University, No. 1 Sec. 4 Roosevelt Road, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.


Cannabidiol, the major nonpsychotropic phytocannabinoid, has been recently demonstrated to induce apoptosis in primary lymphocytes via an oxidative stress-dependent mechanism. Cannabidiol can be converted by microsomal enzymes to the hydroxyquinone metabolite HU-331 that forms adducts with glutathione. The present study tested the hypothesis that HU-331 could cause apoptosis via the depletion of thiols in splenocytes. Our results showed that HU-331 treatment significantly enhanced splenocyte apoptosis in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Concordantly, a gradual diminishment in the cellular thiols and glutathione was detected in HU-331-treated splenocytes. The apoptosis and thiol diminishment induced by HU-331 were abrogated in the presence of thiol antioxidants, including N-acetyl-(L)-cysteine and N-(2-mercaptopropionyl) glycine, whereas the non-thiol antioxidants catalase and pyruvate were ineffective. In comparison, both thiol and non-thiol antioxidants were capable of attenuating H(2)O(2)-induced thiol diminishment and reactive oxygen species generation in splenocytes. Collectively, these results suggest that HU-331 might be an active metabolite of cannabidiol potentially contributing to the induction of apoptosis in splenocytes, and that the apoptosis is primarily mediated by the loss of cellular thiols.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center