Cannabinoids attenuate cancer pain and proliferation in a mouse model

Negin Saghafi, David K. Lam, Brian L. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated the effects of cannabinoid receptor agonists on (1) oral cancer cell viability in vitro and (2) oral cancer pain and tumor growth in a mouse cancer model. We utilized immunohistochemistry and Western blot to show that human oral cancer cells express CBr1 and CBr2. When treated with WIN55,212-2 (non-selective), ACEA (CBr1-selective) or AM1241 (CBr2-selective) agonists in vitro, oral cancer cell proliferation was significantly attenuated in a dose-dependent manner. In vivo, systemic administration (0.013. M) of WIN55,212-2, ACEA, or AM1241 significantly attenuated cancer-induced mechanical allodynia. Tumor growth was also significantly attenuated with systemic AM1241 administration. Our findings suggest a direct role for cannabinoid mechanisms in oral cancer pain and proliferation. The systemic administration of cannabinoid receptor agonists may have important therapeutic implications wherein cannabinoid receptor agonists may reduce morbidity and mortality of oral cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-251
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 25 2011


  • CB1 receptor
  • CB2 receptor
  • Cancer mouse model
  • Cancer pain
  • Cannabinoids
  • Cell viability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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