Phytocannabinoids Act Synergistically with Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Reducing Inflammation in 2D and 3D In Vitro Models

Ajjampura C. Vinayaka, Nurit Shalev, Seegehalli M. Anil, Sudeep Tiwari, Navin Kumar, Eduard Belausov, Karthik Ananth Mani, Guy Mechrez, Hinanit Koltai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lung inflammation is associated with elevated pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Treatment with FCBD:std (standard mix of cannabidiol [CBD], cannabigerol [CBG] and tetrahydrocannabivarin [THCV]) leads to a marked reduction in the inflammation of alveolar epithelial cells, but not in macrophages. In the present study, the combined anti-inflammatory effect of FCBD:std with two corticosteroids (dexamethasone and budesonide) and two non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID; ibuprofen and diclofenac), was examined. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to determine protein levels. Gene expression was determined by quantitative real-time PCR. Inhibition of cyclo-oxygenase (COX) activity was determined in vitro. FCBD:std and diclofenac act synergistically, reducing IL-8 levels in macrophages and lung epithelial cells. FCBD:std plus diclofenac also reduced IL-6, IL-8 and CCL2 expression levels in co-cultures of macrophages and lung epithelial cells, in 2D and 3D models. Treatment by FCBD:std and/or NSAID reduced COX-1 and COX-2 gene expression but not their enzymatic activity. FCBD:std and diclofenac exhibit synergistic anti-inflammatory effects on macrophages and lung epithelial cells, yet this combined activity needs to be examined in pre-clinical studies and clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1559
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • cannabinoids
  • chemokine
  • corticosteroids
  • epithelial cells
  • inflammation
  • interleukin
  • lung
  • macrophages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery


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