Investigating the Potential Effects of CBD in Vitro

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Allison Reagan


Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation play a role in the pathogenesis of many diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. Oxidative stress occurs when there is an accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cells and tissues and not enough antioxidant elements to eliminate them. In order to protect against oxidative stress, cells activate the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf2) pathway. Nrf2 is a transcription factor that regulates the expression of antioxidant enzymes, which can protect the cellfrom ROS. Here we focus on the therapeutic potential of cannabidiol (CBD) to mitigate oxidative stress in both microglial and peripheral macrophage cell lines by way of the Nrf2 pathway. We show that CBD can increase Nrf2 protein levels within the cell and thus may be a therapeutic for oxidative stress-related diseases. We also explore the relationship between oxidative stress and inflammation, specifically the NF-kB inflammatory pathway, in the context of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

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John V. Roach Honors College