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Cannabidiol (CBD) is a major cannabinoid present in extracts of the plant Cannabis sativa (marijuana). While the therapeutic effects of CBD on epilepsy have been demonstrated, less is understood regarding its potential adverse effects. Recent studies revealed that CBD induced toxicity in the male reproductive system of animal models. In this study, we used TM4, an immortalized mouse Sertoli cell line, and primary human Sertoli cells to evaluate the toxicities of CBD and its main metabolites, 7-carboxy-CBD and 7-hydroxy-CBD. CBD induced concentration- and time-dependent cytotoxicity in mouse and human Sertoli cells, which mainly resulted from the inhibition of the G1/S-phase cell cycle transition. CBD also inhibited DNA synthesis and downregulated key cell cycle proteins. Moreover, CBD reduced the mRNA and protein levels of a functional marker, Wilms' tumor 1. Similar to CBD, 7-carboxy-CBD and 7-hydroxy-CBD inhibited cellular proliferation and decreased DNA synthesis. 7-Carboxy-CBD was less cytotoxic than CBD, while 7-hydroxy-CBD showed comparable cytotoxicity to CBD in both mouse and human Sertoli cells. Compared to mouse Sertoli cells, CBD, 7-hydroxy-CBD, and 7-carboxy-CBD were more cytotoxic in human Sertoli cells. Our results indicate that CBD and its main metabolites can inhibit cell proliferation in mouse and human Sertoli cells. Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Yuxi Li, Qiangen Wu, Xilin Li, Linda S Von Tungeln, Frederick A Beland, Dayton Petibone, Lei Guo, Patrick Cournoyer, Supratim Choudhuri, Si Chen. In vitro effects of cannabidiol and its main metabolites in mouse and human Sertoli cells. Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association. 2022 Jan;159:112722

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PMID: 34871667

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