Projects

CBD and Liver Toxicity Study

Evaluation of the Potential Hepatotoxicity of CBD using a Human Hepatocyte Spheroid Model

Background

There is a significant interest in the food and beverage industry to capitalize on the biological activity of the plant-derived cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD). However, there are some concerns pertaining to the potential adverse effects of CBD, especially effects on the liver.

Issue

There are animal studies and clinical trials suggesting that administration of CBD at high therapeutic doses (10-20 mg/kg/day) is associated with signs of liver injury (e.g., hepatocellular hypertrophy, transaminase elevation).

Although these findings raise the concern of the potential hepatotoxicity of CBD, the point-of-departure for the effects of CBD on the liver has not been established yet, especially at low concentrations of CBD that are relevant to the intended use as a food additive. Here we propose to assess the effects of CBD on liver cells using a human cell-based model, which is deemed to be more relevant and predictive of adverse human effects especially when significant inter-species differences in the toxicokinetic were observed (i.e., the CBD metabolite profile and plasma concentrations are markedly different between human and rodents). 

Investigators

Jinpeng Li, Norbert Kaminski 

Timeline

Research study design began in January 2020 and research is planned to continue for 12-18 months. 

CBD and Immunomodulation Properties Study

Evaluation of CBD-mediated Modulation of Toll-like Receptor-induced Human Primary Monocytes Activity

Background

There is a significant interest in the food and beverage industry in capitalizing on the biological activity of the plant-derived cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD). One of the primary biological (medicinal) properties ascribed to CBD is anti-inflammatory activity.

Issue

The majority of research concerning immune modulation by CBD, including anti-inflammatory activity, has been conducted in laboratory animals, primarily rodents. It is well established that although there are similarities between the rodent and human immune system with respect to cell-types, immune regulatory factors (e.g., cytokines and chemokines) and overall how it functions there are many examples showing, and especially in the area of inflammation, that the response of the human and rodent immune system to modulation by exogenous agents (i.e., drugs, chemicals, environmental contaminants, …) can be significantly different.

Inflammation is one of a number of essential mechanisms by which the immune system destroys invading pathogens to protect the host from infection. Suppression of inflammation can have serious deleterious consequences in host defense against infectious agents. By contrast, excessive or unresolved inflammation can cause tissue damage and contribute to the etiology and progression of many diseases and disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, types I and II diabetes, atherosclerosis, neurodegenerative disease, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, depression, and neuropathic pain.

Therefore, deleterious verse beneficial aspects of CBD are context-dependent. Suppression of immune responses by CBD during exposure to pathogens would represent a potentially adverse health effect. Conversely, suppression of inflammation by CBD could have beneficial aspects for those suffering from an inflammatory disease. This project does not seek to advocate for or against the use of CBD but simply to assess effects on TLR-induced monocyte activity.

Investigators

Jinpeng LiNorbert Kaminski 

Timeline

Research study design began in January 2020 and research is planned to continue for 12-18 months. 

Exposure and Risk

Assessment of exposure and risk associated with cholesterol oxidation products in food using dietary intake modeling

Investigators

Ilce Medina-Meza and Jade Mitchell

Timeline

September 2017 through October 31, 2018

Publications

Modeling Interactions

Modeling the Interaction of Dietary Fibers, Gut Bacteria & Gastrointestinal Health

Investigators

Sarah ComstockSudin Bhattacharya and Adam Moeser

Timeline

January 2017 through June 30, 2018

Publications

In-progress