Skip to main content
Accessibility|Contact|Privacy|Terms of Service

Marijuana has Potential for Autoimmune Disorders Treatment

  • Published: 2013-11-25 : Author: University of South Carolina : Contact: Jeff Stensland - stenslan@mailbox.sc.edu Ph. 803-777-3686
  • Synopsis: Study provides evidence that THC a principal ingredient in marijuana may be beneficial in treating those with autoimmune disorders.

Main Document

"...latest study demonstrates that understanding how to control microRNA expression holds tremendous potential for new medical breakthroughs."

The study, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, is the first to explore how tiny, yet powerful molecules called microRNAs are influenced by THC. MicroRNAs are a recently discovered class of non-coding RNAs that play a pivotal role in the regulation of gene expression. The ability to alter microRNA expression could hold the key to successful treatments for a whole host of autoimmune diseases, including arthritis, multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes.

The study was performed by researchers from USC's School of Medicine by injecting laboratory mice with THC and analyzing 609 microRNAs. The researchers identified 13 unique microRNAs that were highly altered by THC.

MicroRNAs have profound effects on the immune system, acting as 'brakes' that target more than 60 percent of all gene expression. Since microRNAs normally suppress the expression of genes, when a microRNA is over-expressed, the affected gene gets silenced. But when microRNA is turned off, the affected gene is expressed at an elevated level.

The authors also studied how a specific microRNA--miRNA-690--that was highly over-expressed in response to THC functionally targets an important protein called C/EBPI Plus/Minus. This molecule in turn triggers unique cells known as MDSC that suppress inflammation. When the researchers successfully knocked down miRNA-690, the effect of THC was reversed.

Lead authors Drs. Prakash and Mitzi Nagarkatti have studied how marijuana can alter immune functions and inflammation for over a decade. They were the first to show that marijuana components trigger MDSC to suppress inflammation. The current study performed by Dr.

Venkatesh Hegde along with others from their team suggested that marijuana can act as a double-edged sword--on one hand suppressing inflammation and thereby increasing susceptibility to certain diseases, while on the other serving as effective treatment modalities against inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

Dr. Mitzi Nagarkatti, chair of the Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology at USC's School of Medicine, said the latest study demonstrates that understanding how to control microRNA expression holds tremendous potential for new medical breakthroughs.

"MicroRNA therapeutics is an important, rapidly growing area with major pharmaceutical companies getting into this discovery and development," Nagarkatti said. "While our study identifies the molecular mechanism of immune-altering effects of marijuana, select microRNA identified here could serve as important molecular targets to manipulate MDSC activity in cancer and inflammatory diseases."

Similar Topics

1 : U.S. Medical Cannabis Protections Extended to 46 States : Ultra Health.
2 : Medical Cannabis Significantly Safer than Opioids for Seniors with Chronic Pain : American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
3 : Medical Marijuana for Age-Related Pain Treatment : Care By Design.
4 : Medical Marijuana for Children with Epilepsy : Thomas C. Weiss.
5 : Cannabis Infused Health & Fitness Drinks : PyoorCBD.
From our Medical Marijuana section - Full List (46 Items)


Submit disability news, coming events, as well as assistive technology product news and reviews.


Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.


Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.


List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.


Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be, and information on blood group types/compatibility.





1 : Bias Keeps Women with Higher Body Weight Away From the Doctor
2 : Smart Hoteliers are Building a Healthier Future
3 : Teaching Baby Sign Language - Nita, Show Us More
4 : MitoQ Novel Antioxidant Makes Old Arteries Seem Young Again
5 : Telemedicine Helps Overcome Healthcare Gender Based Barriers
6 : Screen Reader Plus Keyboard Helps Blind, Low-Vision Users Browse Modern Webpages
7 : Our Digital Remains Should be Treated with Same Care and Respect as Physical Remains
8 : Tungsten: Concern Over Possible Health Risk by Human Exposure to Tungsten


Disclaimer: This site does not employ and is not overseen by medical professionals. Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.

Reporting Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.

© 2004 - 2018 Disabled World™