Neutralization of Cannabidiol Neurotoxicity in Neuron-Astrocyte Sandwich Coculture

Cannabidiol (CBD), a main nonpsychoactive phytocannabinoid in the Cannabis genus, has been in the limelight for its potential health benefits in various neurological diseases. However, the safety issue of CBD in the nervous system has not been settled fully, while CBD has been reported to have mild side effects including dizziness and somnolence. In this work, a platform of neuron-astrocyte sandwich coculture to investigate the neurotoxicity of CBD, as well as the neuronal responses to CBD, in a more in vivo relevant mode is constructed. CBD (15 and 30 µm) causes the viability decrease, along with morphological damage, in the neuron-alone culture, whereas its neurotoxic effects are significantly attenuated by the supports of astrocytes in the neuron-astrocyte coculture. In addition, it is found that CBD-induced increase of intracellular Ca2+ concentration and depolarization of mitochondrial membrane potential, via activation of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1, are noticeably ameliorated by coculturing neurons with astrocytes. This work provides crucial information in the development of CBD as therapeutics for neurological disorders, as well as in a fundamental understanding of how CBD works in the nervous system.


astrocytes; cannabidiol; cocultures; hippocampal neurons; neurotoxicity.

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