Effects of cannabis oil extract on immune response gene expression in human small airway epithelial cells (HSAEpC): implications for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Republished With Permission

Stephen W. Mamber1,2 , Volkan Gurel1, Jeremy Lins1, Fred Ferri3, Sarah Beseme1* and John McMichael1,2




Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is commonly associated with both a pro-inflammatory and a T-helper 1 (Th1) immune response. It was hypothesized that cannabis oil extract can alleviate COPD symptoms by eliciting an anti-inflammatory Th2 immune response. Accordingly, the effects of cannabis oil extract on the expression of 84 Th2 and related immune response genes in human small airways epithelial cells (HSAEpC) were investigated.

Methods: HSAEpC from a single donor were treated with three dilutions of a standardized cannabis oil extract (1: 400, 1:800 and 1:1600) along with a solvent control (0.25% [2.5 ul/ml] ethanol) for 24 h. There were four replicates per treatment dilution, and six for the control. RNA isolated from cells were employed in pathway-focused quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) microarray assays.

Results: The extract induced significant (P < 0.05) changes in expression of 37 tested genes. Six genes (CSF2, IL1RL1, IL4, IL13RA2, IL17A and PPARG) were up-regulated at all three dilutions. Another two (CCL22 and TSLP) were up-regulated while six (CLCA1, CMA1, EPX, LTB4R, MAF and PMCH) were down-regulated at the 1:400 and 1:800 dilutions. The relationship of differentially-expressed genes of interest to biologic pathways was explored using the Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery (DAVID).

Conclusions: This exploratory investigation indicates that cannabis oil extract may affect expression of specific airway epithelial cell genes that could modulate pro-inflammatory or Th1 processes in COPD. These results provide a basis for further investigations and have prompted in vivo studies of the effects of cannabis oil extract on pulmonary function.

Trial registration: NONE (all in vitro experiments).

Keywords: HSAEpC (human small airways epithelial cells), Cannabis, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Gene expression profiling, KEGG pathway analysis, Anti-inflammatory, Th1 and Th2 immune response


Full Paper

Journal of Cannabis 2020 copy

Top 200 Cannabis Lawyers

We Support

Cannabis Law Journal – Contributing Authors

Editor – Sean Hocking

Author Bios

Matt Maurer – Minden Gross
Jeff Hergot – Wildboer Dellelce LLP

Costa Rica
Tim Morales – The Cannabis Industry Association Costa Rica

Elvin Rodríguez Fabilena


Julie Godard
Carl L Rowley -Thompson Coburn LLP

Jerry Chesler – Chesler Consulting

Ian Stewart – Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP
Otis Felder – Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP
Lance Rogers – Greenspoon Marder – San Diego
Jessica McElfresh -McElfresh Law – San Diego
Tracy Gallegos – Partner – Fox Rothschild

Adam Detsky – Knight Nicastro
Dave Rodman – Dave Rodman Law Group
Peter Fendel – CMR Real Estate Network
Nate Reed – CMR Real Estate Network

Matthew Ginder – Greenspoon Marder
David C. Kotler – Cohen Kotler

William Bogot – Fox Rothschild

Valerio Romano, Attorney – VGR Law Firm, PC

Neal Gidvani – Snr Assoc: Greenspoon Marder
Phillip Silvestri – Snr Assoc: Greenspoon Marder

Tracy Gallegos – Associate Fox Rothschild

New Jersey

Matthew G. Miller – MG Miller Intellectual Property Law LLC
Daniel T. McKillop – Scarinci Hollenbeck, LLC

New York
Gregory J. Ryan, Esq. Tesser, Ryan & Rochman, LLP
Tim Nolen Tesser, Ryan & Rochman, LLP
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Paul Loney & Kristie Cromwell – Loney Law Group
William Stewart – Half Baked Labs

Andrew B. Sacks – Managing Partner Sacks Weston Diamond
William Roark – Principal Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin
Joshua Horn – Partner Fox Rothschild

Washington DC
Teddy Eynon – Partner Fox Rothschild