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Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 362, Issue 2, pp 441–446 | Cite as

The endocannabinoid anandamide affects the synthesis of human syncytiotrophoblast-related proteins

  • M. A. Costa
  • B. M. Fonseca
  • A. Mendes
  • J. Braga
  • N. A. Teixeira
  • Georgina Correia da SilvaEmail author
Short Communication

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Anandamide Endocannabinoid signalling Placental proteins Human syncytiotrophoblast Placenta 

Notes

Acknowledgment

The authors thank Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT) for the post-doctoral grant of Bruno Fonseca (SFRH/BPD/72958/2010).

Funding

This research did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sector.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. A. Costa
    • 1
  • B. M. Fonseca
    • 2
  • A. Mendes
    • 3
  • J. Braga
    • 3
  • N. A. Teixeira
    • 2
  • Georgina Correia da Silva
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Laboratório de Bioquímica, Faculdade de FarmáciaUniversidade do PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.UCIBIO, REQUIMTE, Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Laboratório de Bioquímica, Faculdade de FarmáciaUniversidade do PortoPortoPortugal
  3. 3.Departamento da Mulher e da Criança, Serviço de ObstetríciaCentro Materno-Infantil do Norte- Centro Hospitalar do PortoPortoPortugal

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