Cannabinoid/Endocannabinoid Signaling Impact on Early Pregnancy Events
It has been known for decades that marijuana and its major psychoactive component Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) alter both male and female reproductive functions in humans and laboratory animals. The discovery of cannabinoid-like molecules (endocannabinoids), anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2AG), as well as G-protein-coupled cannabinoid/endocannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, created an opportunity to study the adverse and beneficial effects of cannabinoids/endocannabinoids on fertility using molecular, physiological and genetic approaches. In fact, studies to explore the significance of cannabinoid/endocannabinoid signaling in reproduction have revealed some intriguing physiological roles in early pregnant events. This review summarizes some aspects of these signaling molecules in preimplantation and implantation biology utilizing genetically engineered mouse models.
KeywordsEndocannaibnoids CB1 CB2 Pregnancy Implantation Uterus Oviduct
The authors thank Susanne Tranguch for her critical reading of the manuscript. This work was supported in part by NIH grants DA06668, HD12304, and P01-CA-77,839. S. K. Dey is a recipient of Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Awards from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).
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