Emerging Roles of Endocannabinoids as Key Lipid Mediators for a Successful Pregnancy

Review


doi: 10.3390/ijms24065220.

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Review

Alessandro Rava et al.


Int J Mol Sci.


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Abstract

In recent years, Cannabis use/misuse for treating pregnancy-related symptoms and other chronic conditions has increased among pregnant women, favored by decriminalization and/or legalization of its recreational uses in addition to its easy accessibility. However, there is evidence that prenatal Cannabis exposure might have adverse consequences on pregnancy progression and a deleterious impact on proper neurodevelopmental trajectories in the offspring. Maternal Cannabis use could interfere with the complex and finely controlled role performed by the endocannabinoid system in reproductive physiology, impairing multiple gestational processes from blastocyst implantation to parturition, with long-lasting intergenerational effects. In this review, we discuss current clinical and preclinical evidence regarding the role of endocannabinoids in development, function, and immunity of the maternal-fetal interface, focusing on the impact of Cannabis constituents on each of these gestational processes. We also discuss the intrinsic limitations of the available studies and the future perspectives in this challenging research field.


Keywords:

Cannabis; endocannabinoids; gestational inflammation; maternal–fetal interface; neurodevelopment; pregnancy.

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