Cannabis sativa L. modulates altered metabolic pathways involved in key metabolisms in human breast cancer (MCF-7) cells: A metabolomics study

The present study investigated the ability of Cannabis sativa leaves infusion (CSI) to modulate major metabolisms implicated in cancer cells survival, as well as to induce cell death in human breast cancer (MCF-7) cells. MCF-7 cell lines were treated with CSI for 48 h, doxorubicin served as the standard anticancer drug, while untreated MCF-7 cells served as the control. CSI caused 21.2% inhibition of cell growth at the highest dose. Liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy (LC-MS) profiling of the control cells revealed the presence of carbohydrate, vitamins, oxidative, lipids, nucleotides, and amino acids metabolites. Treatment with CSI caused a 91% depletion of these metabolites, while concomitantly generating selenomethionine, l-cystine, deoxyadenosine triphosphate, cyclic AMP, selenocystathionine, inosine triphosphate, adenosine phosphosulfate, 5′-methylthioadenosine, uric acid, malonic semialdehyde, 2-methylguanosine, ganglioside GD2 and malonic acid. Metabolomics analysis via pathway enrichment of the metabolites revealed the activation of key metabolic pathways relevant to glucose, lipid, amino acid, vitamin, and nucleotide metabolisms. CSI caused a total inactivation of glucose, vitamin, and nucleotide metabolisms, while inactivating key lipid and amino acid metabolic pathways linked to cancer cell survival. Flow cytometry analysis revealed an induction of apoptosis and necrosis in MCF-7 cells treated with CSI. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis of CSI revealed the presence of cannabidiol, rutin, cinnamic acid, and ferulic. These results portray the antiproliferative potentials of CSI as an alternative therapy for the treatment and management of breast cancer as depicted by its modulation of glucose, lipid, amino acid, vitamin, and nucleotide metabolisms, while concomitantly inducing cell death in MCF-7 cells.


Apoptosis; Breast cancer; Cancer metabolism; Cannabis sativa L.; Metabolomics.

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