Anandamide hydrolase: A guardian angel of human reproduction?

Mauro Maccarrone, Alessandro Finazzi-Agrò

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Anandamide (AEA) is the best-studied member of the endocannabinoids, a group of bioactive fatty acid amides and esters that activate cannabinoid receptors and have several roles in both the CNS and the periphery. The tone, signaling and activity of AEA in vivo are terminated by a specific fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), whose inhibition has potential therapeutic applications in pain, neurodegenerative disorders, cancer and anxiety. In this article, we discuss the participation of AEA in hormone-cytokine networks that are essential for reproduction, and support the view that FAAH plays a key role in regulating this activity of AEA. We underline the fact that FAAH in maternal lymphocytes is a molecular integrator of signals that are crucial for human gestation, and that its downregulation to date is the only early marker of spontaneous abortion, both in vivo and in vitro. We propose that drugs that are able to enhance FAAH activity might become useful therapeutic tools for the management of human infertility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-357
Number of pages5
JournalTrends in Pharmacological Sciences
Volume25
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2004

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Hydrolases
Reproduction
Cannabinoid Receptors
Endocannabinoids
Somatoform Disorders
Lymphocytes
Spontaneous Abortion
Amides
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Infertility
Esters
Fatty Acids
Down-Regulation
Anxiety
Mothers
Hormones
Cytokines
Pregnancy
fatty-acid amide hydrolase
anandamide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Toxicology

Cite this

Anandamide hydrolase : A guardian angel of human reproduction? / Maccarrone, Mauro; Finazzi-Agrò, Alessandro.

In: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, Vol. 25, No. 7, 07.2004, p. 353-357.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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