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Costa M.A.,University of Porto | Fonseca B.M.,University of Porto | Mendes A.,Centro Materno Infantil do Norte Centro Hospitalar do Porto | Braga J.,Centro Materno Infantil do Norte Centro Hospitalar do Porto | And 2 more authors.
Cell and Tissue Research | Year: 2015

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. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Costa M.A.,University of Porto | Fonseca B.M.,University of Porto | Mendes A.,Centro Materno Infantil Do Norte Centro Hospitalar Do Porto | Braga J.,Centro Materno Infantil Do Norte Centro Hospitalar Do Porto | And 2 more authors.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids | Year: 2016

In recent years, endocannabinoids emerged as new players in various reproductive events. Recently, we demonstrated the involvement of 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in human cytotrophoblast apoptosis and syncytialization. However, 2-AG impact in hormone production by the syncytiotrophoblast (hST) was never studied. In this work, we demonstrate that 2-AG activates cannabinoid (CB) receptors, exerting an inhibitory action on cyclic AMP/protein kinase A (cAMP/PKA) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) p38 pathways, and enhancing ERK 1/2 phosphorylation. Furthermore, 2-AG affects the synthesis of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), leptin, aromatase, 3-β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3-β-HSD), and placental protein 13 (PP13). These 2-AG effects are mediated by the activation of CB receptors, in a mechanism that may involve p38, ERK 1/2 and cAMP/PKA pathways, which participate in the regulation of placental proteins expression. To our knowledge, this is the first study that associates the endocannabinoid signalling and endocrine placental function, shedding light on a role for 2-AG in the complex network of molecules that orchestrate the production of placental proteins essential for the gestational success. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


PubMed | University of Porto and Centro Materno Infantil do Norte Centro Hospitalar do Porto
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Biochimica et biophysica acta | Year: 2016

In recent years, endocannabinoids emerged as new players in various reproductive events. Recently, we demonstrated the involvement of 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in human cytotrophoblast apoptosis and syncytialization. However, 2-AG impact in hormone production by the syncytiotrophoblast (hST) was never studied. In this work, we demonstrate that 2-AG activates cannabinoid (CB) receptors, exerting an inhibitory action on cyclic AMP/protein kinase A (cAMP/PKA) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) p38 pathways, and enhancing ERK 1/2 phosphorylation. Furthermore, 2-AG affects the synthesis of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), leptin, aromatase, 3--hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3--HSD), and placental protein 13 (PP13). These 2-AG effects are mediated by the activation of CB receptors, in a mechanism that may involve p38, ERK 1/2 and cAMP/PKA pathways, which participate in the regulation of placental proteins expression. To our knowledge, this is the first study that associates the endocannabinoid signalling and endocrine placental function, shedding light on a role for 2-AG in the complex network of molecules that orchestrate the production of placental proteins essential for the gestational success.

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