The endocannabinoid (eCB) system has gained ground as a key modulator of several female fertility-related processes, under physiological/pathological conditions. Nevertheless, its modulation during reproductive aging remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate the expression levels of the main receptors (cannabinoid receptor 1,CB1; cannabinoid receptor 2, CB2; G-protein coupled receptor, GPR55; and transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 channel, TRPV1) and metabolic enzymes (N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine phospholipase D, NAPE-PLD; fatty acid amide hydrolase, FAAH; monoacylglycerol lipase, MAGL; and diacylglycerol lipase, DAGL-α and -β) of this system in the ovaries, oviducts, and uteri of mice at prepubertal, adult, late reproductive, and post-reproductive stages through quantitative ELISA and immunohistochemistry. The ELISA showed that among the receptors, TRPV1 had the highest expression and significantly increased during aging. Among the enzymes, NAPE-PLD, FAAH, and DAGL-β were the most expressed in these organs at all ages, and increased age-dependently. Immunohistochemistry revealed that, regardless of age, NAPE-PLD and FAAH were mainly found in the epithelial cells facing the lumen of the oviduct and uteri. Moreover, in ovaries, NAPE-PLD was predominant in the granulosa cells, while FAAH was sparse in the stromal compartment. Of note, the age-dependent increase in TRPV1 and DAGL-β could be indicative of increased inflammation, while that of NAPE-PLD and FAAH could suggest the need to tightly control the levels of the eCB anandamide at late reproductive age. These findings offer new insights into the role of the eCB system in female reproduction, with potential for therapeutic exploitation.
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