The endocannabinoid pathway and the female reproductive organs

  1. Davide Gentilini
  1. Molecular Biology Laboratory, Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Via Zucchi 18, 20095 Cusano Milanino, Milano, Italy
    1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Milano, Milano, Italy
  1. (Correspondence should be addressed to A M Di Blasio; Email: a.diblasio{at}
  1. Figure 1

    Overview of the most important biochemical pathways for cellular uptake and biological actions of the endogenous cannabinoids. Cannabinoids produce their effects by binding to specific G-protein-coupled plasma membrane receptors that can inhibit adenylate cyclase (AC); activate PKA, PI3K, AKT and MAPK; increase K+ currents and stimulate ceramide production. Intracellular degradation is achieved following their transport through the plasma membrane mediated by the endocannabinoid membrane transporters (EMT).

  2. Figure 2

    Representative chemotaxis experiment. Migrated endometrial stromal cells have been stained: the image shows cell migration in basal condition (A) and after stimulation with methanandamide (10−5 M) (B).

  3. Figure 3

    Effects of methanandamide (10−5 M) on actin cytoskeleton pattern of endometrial stromal cells. Untreated cells show a classic static phenotype (A). Treatment with methanandamide induces cytoskeleton rearrangements and a migratory phenotype (B).

  4. Figure 4

    Effect of methanandamide (10−5 M) on endometrial stromal cell proliferation. Data are expressed as fold changes and are reported for 24, 48 and 72 h treatments (n=12) (A). (B) Endometrial stromal cells in basal condition. (C) Apoptotic endometrial stromal cells after 72-h stimulation with methanandamide.

  5. Figure 5

    Overview of the most important biological activities of endocannabinoids in the female reproductive organs.

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