Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol: a novel treatment for experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

W. D. Lyman, J. R. Sonett, C. F. Brosnan, R. Elkin, M. B. Bornstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 156 Citations

Abstract

Since multiple sclerosis (MS) is believed to be an immune-mediated disease, it follows that its therapies should be directed towards modulating the immune system. Current MS treatments, which include the use of exogenous steroids that are immunosuppressive, do not meet therapeutic objectives. Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an active component of marijuana, has been shown to be immunosuppressive. To test THC's ability to suppress an immune-mediated disease, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the laboratory model of MS, was used. Lewis rats and strain 13 guinea pigs were administered THC either before inoculation for EAE or treated with THC after injection. Control animals received placebo. The effect of dose, in addition to the timing of treatment, was also investigated. All animals treated with placebo developed severe clinical EAE 10-12 days post-injection (d.p.i.) and more than 98% died by 15 d.p.i. THC-treated animals had either no clinical signs or mild signs with delayed onset (13-15 d.p.i.) with survival greater than 95%. Examination of central nervous system tissue revealed a marked reduction of inflammation in the THC-treated animals. Therefore, as THC has been shown to inhibit both clinical and histologic EAE, it may prove to be a new and relatively innocuous agent for the treatment of immune-mediated diseases.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages73-81
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

Profile

Dronabinol
Autoimmune Experimental Encephalomyelitis
Immune System Diseases
Multiple Sclerosis
Injections
Immunosuppressive Agents
Therapeutics
Placebos
Nerve Tissue
Cannabis
Immune System
Guinea Pigs
Central Nervous System
Steroids
Inflammation

Keywords

  • Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis
  • Inflammatory demyelination
  • Marijuana
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Δ-Tetrahydrocannabinol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology

Cite this

Lyman, W. D., Sonett, J. R., Brosnan, C. F., Elkin, R., & Bornstein, M. B. (1989). Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol: a novel treatment for experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Journal of Neuroimmunology, 23(1), 73-81. DOI: 10.1016/0165-5728(89)90075-1

Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol : a novel treatment for experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. / Lyman, W. D.; Sonett, J. R.; Brosnan, C. F.; Elkin, R.; Bornstein, M. B.

In: Journal of Neuroimmunology, Vol. 23, No. 1, 1989, p. 73-81.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lyman, WD, Sonett, JR, Brosnan, CF, Elkin, R & Bornstein, MB 1989, 'Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol: a novel treatment for experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis' Journal of Neuroimmunology, vol 23, no. 1, pp. 73-81. DOI: 10.1016/0165-5728(89)90075-1
Lyman WD, Sonett JR, Brosnan CF, Elkin R, Bornstein MB. Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol: a novel treatment for experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Journal of Neuroimmunology. 1989;23(1):73-81. Available from, DOI: 10.1016/0165-5728(89)90075-1
Lyman, W. D. ; Sonett, J. R. ; Brosnan, C. F. ; Elkin, R. ; Bornstein, M. B./ Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol : a novel treatment for experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. In: Journal of Neuroimmunology. 1989 ; Vol. 23, No. 1. pp. 73-81
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