The endocannabinoid anandamide affects the synthesis of human syncytiotrophoblast-related proteins
- 290 Downloads
The human syncytiotrophoblast (hST) has a major role in the production of important placental hormones. Several molecules regulate hST endocrine function but the role of endocannabinoids in this process is still unknown. Here, we report that the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA) decreased cAMP levels, impaired human chorionic gonadotropin secretion, placental alkaline phosphatase activity and decreased aromatase mRNA levels and protein expression, through cannabinoid (CB) receptor activation. AEA also downregulated leptin and placental protein 13 transcription, though via a CB receptor-independent mechanism. All this evidence suggests AEA is a novel modulator of hormone synthesis by the syncytiotrophoblast, supporting the importance of the endocannabinoid signalling in placental function.
KeywordsAnandamide Endocannabinoid signalling Placental proteins Human syncytiotrophoblast Placenta
The authors thank Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT) for the post-doctoral grant of Bruno Fonseca (SFRH/BPD/72958/2010).
This research did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sector.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
- Trabucco E, Acone G, Marenna A, Pierantoni R, Cacciola G, Chioccarelli T, Mackie K, Fasano S, Colacurci N, Meccariello R, Cobellis G, Cobellis L (2009) Endocannabinoid system in first trimester placenta: low FAAH and high CB1 expression characterize spontaneous miscarriage. Placenta 30:516–522CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar