Background: Studies from knockout mice suggest that perturbations in oviductal endocannabinoid levels, endocannabinoid receptors, or endocannabinoid degrading enzyme [fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH)] expression result in infertility secondary to physical trapping of embryos. Similar observations have been made in ectopic pregnant women together with a suggestion that the endocannabinoid receptor gene polymorphism 1359G/A (rs1049353) is associated with ectopic pregnancy. These observations led to the hypothesis that ectopic pregnancy is associated with a perturbation in levels of endocannabinoids and FAAH activity and that such changes are associated with impaired tubal function. Aims: The objective of the study was to quantify the plasma levels of endocannabinoids (anandamide, oleoylethanolamide, and palmitoylethanolamide) and evaluate blood endocannabinoid metabolizing enzyme activities FAAH and N-acyl-phosphatidyl-ethanolamine phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD) in ectopic pregnancy and normal pregnant controls and relate that to beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (beta-hCG) levels. Additionally, we wanted to examine the effect of endocannabinoids on cilia beat frequency in Fallopian tube epithelial cells ex vivo. Participants and Methods: Whole blood collected from ectopic and normal pregnancies was used for quantification of plasma endocannabinoid levels by ultra-HPLC-tandem mass spectrometry of FAAH and NAPE-PLD enzyme activities by radiometric assays, and beta-hCG by immunoassay. Fallopian tube epithelial cells from healthy volunteers were treated with endocannabinoids and cilia beat frequency analyzed using a high-speed digital camera and CiliaFA software. Results: FAAH activity (P < .05) but not NAPE-PLD activity was significantly reduced in ectopic pregnancies. All 3 endocannabinoids levels were significantly higher (P < .05) in ectopic pregnancy. There was no correlation between endocannabinoids, enzyme activity, and beta-hCG levels. Oleoylethanolamide (P < .05), but not methanandamide or palmitoylethanolamide, significantly decreased cilia beat frequency in Fallopian tube epithelial cells. Conclusion: Elevated endocannabinoid levels and reduced FAAH activity are associated with ectopic pregnancy and may modulate tubal function, suggesting dysfunctional endocannabinoid action in ectopic implantation. Oleoylethanolamide may play a critical role in embryo-tubal transport. (J Clin Endocrinol Metab 98: 1226-1234, 2013)

Elevated Anandamide and Related N-Acylethanolamine Levels Occur in the Peripheral Blood of Women With Ectopic Pregnancy and Are Mirrored by Changes in Peripheral Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase Activity

Maccarrone M;
2013

Abstract

Background: Studies from knockout mice suggest that perturbations in oviductal endocannabinoid levels, endocannabinoid receptors, or endocannabinoid degrading enzyme [fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH)] expression result in infertility secondary to physical trapping of embryos. Similar observations have been made in ectopic pregnant women together with a suggestion that the endocannabinoid receptor gene polymorphism 1359G/A (rs1049353) is associated with ectopic pregnancy. These observations led to the hypothesis that ectopic pregnancy is associated with a perturbation in levels of endocannabinoids and FAAH activity and that such changes are associated with impaired tubal function. Aims: The objective of the study was to quantify the plasma levels of endocannabinoids (anandamide, oleoylethanolamide, and palmitoylethanolamide) and evaluate blood endocannabinoid metabolizing enzyme activities FAAH and N-acyl-phosphatidyl-ethanolamine phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD) in ectopic pregnancy and normal pregnant controls and relate that to beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (beta-hCG) levels. Additionally, we wanted to examine the effect of endocannabinoids on cilia beat frequency in Fallopian tube epithelial cells ex vivo. Participants and Methods: Whole blood collected from ectopic and normal pregnancies was used for quantification of plasma endocannabinoid levels by ultra-HPLC-tandem mass spectrometry of FAAH and NAPE-PLD enzyme activities by radiometric assays, and beta-hCG by immunoassay. Fallopian tube epithelial cells from healthy volunteers were treated with endocannabinoids and cilia beat frequency analyzed using a high-speed digital camera and CiliaFA software. Results: FAAH activity (P < .05) but not NAPE-PLD activity was significantly reduced in ectopic pregnancies. All 3 endocannabinoids levels were significantly higher (P < .05) in ectopic pregnancy. There was no correlation between endocannabinoids, enzyme activity, and beta-hCG levels. Oleoylethanolamide (P < .05), but not methanandamide or palmitoylethanolamide, significantly decreased cilia beat frequency in Fallopian tube epithelial cells. Conclusion: Elevated endocannabinoid levels and reduced FAAH activity are associated with ectopic pregnancy and may modulate tubal function, suggesting dysfunctional endocannabinoid action in ectopic implantation. Oleoylethanolamide may play a critical role in embryo-tubal transport. (J Clin Endocrinol Metab 98: 1226-1234, 2013)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/155916
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