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Chem Phys Lipids. 2002 Dec 31;121(1-2):201-10.

Endocannabinoid signaling in synchronizing embryo development and uterine receptivity for implantation.

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Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37232-2678, USA.


There are reports of adverse effects of cannabinoids on pregnancy outcome including retarded embryo development and pregnancy failure. Thus, discoveries of endogenous cannabinoid-like lipid mediators and cannabinoid receptors raise questions about their pathophysiological roles during normal pregnancy. We previously reported that anandamide, an endogenously produced arachidonate derivative (endocannabinoid), is synthesized in the female reproductive tracts, and it acts on cannabinoid receptors expressed on the cell surface of the embryo to regulate the preimplantation embryo development and implantation in mice. This review presents genetic, molecular, physiological and pharmacological evidence that the levels of uterine anandamide and blastocyst CB1 cannabinoid receptors are coordinately regulated to synchronize preimplantation development and uterine receptivity for implantation in mice.

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