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J Cannabis Ther 2002(3/4):035-47

Endocannabinoids

Endocannabinoid Degradation and Human Fertility

Author
M. Bari, N. Battista, A. Cartoni, G. D'Arcangelo, M. Maccarrone

Abstract
Anandamide (AEA) impairs mouse pregnancy and embryo development. Here, we overview the role of AEA in sexual function, focusing on AEA degradation during human pregnancy. Human peripheral lymphocytes express the AEA-hydrolyzing enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which decreases in miscarrying women. FAAH is regulated by progesterone and Th1/Th2 cytokines, whereas the AEA transporter and the AEA binding cannabinoid receptors are not affected. Taken together, our results appear to add the endocannabinoids to the hormone-cytokine array involved in the control of human pregnancy, and suggest that FAAH might be a useful diagnostic marker for large scale, routine monitoring of gestation in humans.


Keywords
Anandamide, cytokines, endocannabinoids, human fertility, sex hormones

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