Scientist team who found THC treatment on Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B(SEB) induced Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome mice leads to 100% survival updated their paper with the mechanism. Scientists suggested the activation of cannabinoid receptors may serve as a therapeutic modality to treat ARDS associated with COVID19.
Mohammed, A., F K Alghetaa, H., Miranda, K., Wilson, K., P Singh, N., Cai, G., Putluri, N., Nagarkatti, P., & Nagarkatti, M. (2020). Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Prevents Mortality from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome through the Induction of Apoptosis in Immune Cells, Leading to Cytokine Storm Suppression. International journal of molecular sciences, 21(17), 6244. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176244
Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Prevents Mortality from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome through the Induction of Apoptosis in Immune Cells, Leading to Cytokine Storm Suppression
The current study concludes that the treatment of mice with THC post-SEB challenge protects mice from SEB-mediated toxicity by inhibiting inflammation and ARDS through the modulation of miRs targeting mitochondria-related apoptotic genes. Because SEB is a superantigen that drives cytokine storm, our studies revealed that THC is a potent anti-inflammatory agent that has the potential to be used as a therapeutic modality to treat SEB-induced ARDS. Importantly, the metabolomic and metabolic profiling indicates profound effects on mitochondrial functions that may be responsible for the anti-inflammatory activity of THC. This study also concludes that THC may mediate its effects through downregulating the expression of miR-185-3p and the consequent upregulation of apoptotic genes and pathways; thus, targeting miR-185-3p may constitute another therapeutic modality for the alleviation of ARDS. Using gene expression datasets from the BALF of human COVID-19 patients, we found similarities between the cytokine and apoptotic genes with SEB-induced ARDS. Thus, our data suggests that THC may be useful in treating ARDS and cytokine storm seen in COVID-19 patients.