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Fertil Steril. 2010 Apr;93(6):1989-96. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.12.033. Epub 2009 Feb 6.

The relationship between plasma levels of the endocannabinoid, anandamide, sex steroids, and gonadotrophins during the menstrual cycle.

Author information

1
Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine, University of Leicester, Leicester, United Kingdom.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To further investigate the relationship between plasma anandamide (AEA), sex steroids, and gonadotrophins to improve our understanding of how AEA may be involved in human fertility.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional and longitudinal study.

SETTING:

University Hospital of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester Royal Infirmary.

PATIENT(S):

Healthy premenopausal and postmenopausal volunteers.

INTERVENTION(S):

UPLC-MS/MS-measured plasma AEA and ELISA-measured serum FSH, LH, estradiol, and progesterone levels at five different phases of the menstrual cycle and postmenopause.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

Plasma AEA, serum steroids and gonadotrophins.

RESULT(S):

Changes in AEA levels were similar in the two cohorts. The mean +/- SEM levels in the early follicular phase (0.89 +/- 0.06) for the cross-sectional cohort and the longitudinal cohort (0.73 +/- 0.03) were higher than those in the late follicular phase (0.77 +/- 0.09 cross-sectional; 0.63 +/- 0.08 longitudinal). The highest AEA levels were measured at ovulation (1.38 +/- 0.14 and 1.33 +/- 0.16) and the lowest level was measured in the late luteal phase (0.66 +/- 0.07 and 0.56 +/- 0.06). There was a statistically significant positive correlation between AEA, estradiol (P=0.0015), LH (P<0.0001) and FSH levels but not progesterone (P=0.022).

CONCLUSION(S):

Peak plasma AEA occurred at ovulation and positively correlated with estradiol and gonadotrophin levels suggesting that these may be involved in the regulation of AEA levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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