Colon cancer is the third most common human malignancy and a main cause of death worldwide. The current study was carried out to investigate the effects of cannabidiol, a cannabinoid, on angiogenesis and cell death in mice with experimental colon cancer induced by injection of CT26 cell line. Fifty male BALB/c mice were assigned randomly to five study groups, including: (1) negative control, (2) cancer control, (3) cancer vehicle control, (3) cancer treatment (1 mg/kg cannabidiol), and (5) cancer treatment (5 mg/kg cannabidiol). Treatment responses were evaluated based on histopathological examination, the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene, measurement of interleukins (ILs 6 and 8), oxidative stress parameters (glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, superoxide dismutase serum activities, total antioxidant capacity, and malondialdehyde levels). In the present study, CBD reduced VEGF gene expression, decreased serum levels of IL6, IL8, and malondialdehyde, and increased antioxidant enzyme activity in mice with colon cancer. Moreover, cannabidiol induced apoptosis and reduced cellular pleomorphism. Cannabidiol can be potentially considered as an anti-colon cancer medicine as it exerts an inhibitory effect on angiogenesis, tumor growth, and metastasis through reducing VEGF gene expression, decreasing cytokines, and increasing antioxidant enzyme activities.
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The authors would like to thank the Research Council of Shiraz University and School of Veterinary Medicine, Shiraz University for their financial and technical support of this study (Grant No. 71-GR-VT-5).
Compliance with ethical standards
The current experimental study was done based on the ethical and technical regulations of the state internal ethics committee of Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran. Furthermore, the advices by European Council Directive (86/609/EC) of November 24, 1986, on animal rights for scientific purposes, were considered.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.
All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.
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