Xiaofan Sun, Lisha Zhou, Yi Wang , Guoliang Deng, Xinran Cao, Bowen Ke, Xiaoqi Wu e, Yanhong Gu, Haibo Cheng, Qiang Xu, Qianming Du, Hongqi Chen, Yang Sun


July 2023


Colorectal tumors often create an immunosuppressive microenvironment that prevents them from responding to immunotherapy. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive natural active ingredient from the cannabis plant that has various pharmacological effects, including neuroprotective, antiemetic, anti-inflammatory, and antineoplastic activities. This study aimed to elucidate the specific anticancer mechanism of CBD by single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) and single-cell ATAC sequencing (scATAC-seq) technologies. Here, we report that CBD inhibits colorectal cancer progression by modulating the suppressive tumor microenvironment (TME). Our single-cell transcriptome and ATAC sequencing results showed that CBD suppressed M2-like macrophages and promoted M1-like macrophages in tumors both in strength and quantity. Furthermore, CBD significantly enhanced the interaction between M1-like macrophages and tumor cells and restored the intrinsic anti-tumor properties of macrophages, thereby preventing tumor progression. Mechanistically, CBD altered the metabolic pattern of macrophages and related anti-tumor signaling pathways. We found that CBD inhibited the alternative activation of macrophages and shifted the metabolic process from oxidative phosphorylation and fatty acid oxidation to glycolysis by inhibiting the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-protein kinase B signaling pathway and related downstream target genes. Furthermore, CBD-mediated macrophage plasticity enhanced the response to anti-programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1) immunotherapy in xenografted mice. Taken together, we provide new insights into the anti-tumor effects of CBD.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jpha.2023.04.013


Sun, X., Zhou, L., Wang, Y., Deng, G., Cao, X., Ke, B., … & Sun, Y. (2023). Single-cell analyses reveal cannabidiol rewires tumor microenvironment via inhibiting alternative activation of macrophage and synergizes with anti-PD-1 in colon cancer. Journal of Pharmaceutical Analysis.