Regulation of male fertility by the endocannabinoid system

Natalia Battista, Cinzia Rapino, Monia Di Tommaso, Monica Bari, Nicoletta Pasquariello, Mauro Maccarrone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mammalian conception is a complex process regulated by both sexual behavior and reproductive performance. Alcohol, marijuana and tobacco are among the main factors which affect negatively fertility in women and men. Several studies have demonstrated that marijuana impairs the male copulatory activity, and that smokers of this illegal drug show reduced fertility due, for instance, to decrease in sperm concentration, defective sperm function or alteration of sperm morphology. The discovery of endocannabinoids and all components responsible for their metabolism has allowed to collect valuable information on the effects of these endogenous lipids, able to mimic the actions of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in reproductive functions. The purpose of this review is to describe the actions of cannabinoids and endocannabinoids on the control of procreation and hormonal release during the fertilization process in males.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number1-2 SUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 16 2008


  • Endocannabinoids
  • Fertility
  • Hormones
  • Sperm cells
  • Testis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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