According to results of an animal study published in Journal of Leukocyte Biology in June 2015, the cannabinoid delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may be a safe and effective alternative or add-on therapy in the prevention of organ and tissue transplant rejection.
- prevention of increases in the number of recipient T-cells in the recipient’s lymph nodes (i.e. lower chance of rejection of donor tissue)
- decrease in inflammatory response signals
- stimulation of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (which act to decrease the recipient T-cell response and prevent rejection)
- increased length of survival of donor skin cells
“Together, our research shows, for the first time to our knowledge, that targeting cannabinoid receptors may provide a novel treatment modality to attenuate host-versus-graft disease and prevent [transplant] rejection” says the team of researchers who lead the study.
Given the serious side effects associated with the current treatments used to prevent transplant rejection, along with the highly favorable safety profile of THC, further exploration of THC’s utility in prevention of this process has the potential to lengthen millions of lives and protect the unique, altruistic, and essential gift that organ donors leave to new recipients every day.
Much More at: Medical Jane