The endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol mimic Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical component responsible for the psychoactive properties of Cannabis sativa, by binding to both type 1 and type 2 cannabinoid receptors. Endocannabinoids exert several actions, both centrally and peripherally, and are synthesized or hydrolyzed by specific enzymes. In this review, the elements that constitute the endocannabinoid system (ECS) are described, with the aim of describing their interplay with other components of reproductive endocrinology, both in females and males. In particular, the interaction of the ECS with sex hormones and cytokines, generating an endocannabinoid/hormone/cytokine array responsible for the control of human fertility, is discussed. The data for endocannabinoids suggest that these molecules can be proposed as novel lipid hormones (lipokines) that are critically involved in reproductive events.
|Titolo:||Endocannabinoids and reproductive endocrinology|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2009|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|