Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2381/11231
Title: Modulation of the endocannabinoid system in viable and non-viable first trimester pregnancies by pregnancy-related hormones
Authors: Taylor, A. H.
Finney, M.
Lam, P. M.
Konje, J. C.
First Published: 29-Nov-2011
Publisher: BioMed Central
Citation: Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, 2011, 9, p. 152
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In early pregnancy, increased plasma levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA) are associated with miscarriage through mechanisms that might affect the developing placenta or maternal decidua. METHODS: In this study, we compare AEA levels in failed and viable pregnancies with the levels of the trophoblastic hormones (beta-human chorionic gonadotrophin (beta-hCG), progesterone (P4) and (pregnancy-associated placental protein-A (PAPP-A)) essential for early pregnancy success and relate that to the expression of the cannabinoid receptors and enzymes that modulate AEA levels. RESULTS: The median plasma AEA level in non-viable pregnancies (1.48 nM; n = 20) was higher than in viable pregnancies (1.21 nM; n = 25; P = 0.013), as were progesterone and beta-hCG levels (41.0 vs 51.5 ng/mL; P = 0.052 for P4 and 28,650 vs 6,560 mIU/L; P = 0.144 for beta-hCG, respectively, but were not statistically significant). Serum PAPP-A levels in the viable group were approximately 6.8 times lower than those in the non-viable group (1.82 vs 12.25 mg/L; P = 0.071), but again these differences were statistically insignificant. In the spontaneous miscarriage group, significant correlations between P4 and beta-hCG, P4 and PAPP-A and AEA and PAPP-A levels were observed. Simultaneously, immunohistochemical distributions of the two main cannabinoid receptors and the AEA-modifying enzymes, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine-phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD), changed within both the decidua and trophoblast. CONCLUSIONS: The association of higher AEA levels with early pregnancy failure and with beta-hCG and PAPP-A, but not with progesterone concentrations suggest that plasma AEA levels and pregnancy failure are linked via a mechanism that may involve trophoblastic beta-hCG, and PAPP-A, but not, progesterone production. Although the trophoblast, decidua and embryo contain receptors for AEA, the main AEA target in early pregnancy failure remains unknown.
DOI Link: 10.1186/1477-7827-9-152
eISSN: 1477-7827
Links: http://hdl.handle.net/2381/11231
http://www.rbej.com/content/9/1/152
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2011 Taylor et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine

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