Identification of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor and fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) in the human placenta.

“Synthetic cannabinoids, the psychoactive components of the Cannabis sativa (marijuana) and their endogenous counterparts, act through two G protein-coupled receptors, CB1 and CB2.

The endocannabinoids are metabolized by fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH).

We have examined CB1 receptor and FAAH expression in human term placenta by immunohistochemistry.

CB1 receptor was found to be present in all layers of the membrane, with particularly strong expression in the amniotic epithelium and reticular cells and cells of the maternal decidua layer. Moderate expression was observed in the chorionic cytotrophoblasts. The expression of FAAH was the highest in amniotic epithelial cells, chorionic cytotrophoblast and maternal decidua layer.

Our results suggest that the human placenta is a likely target for cannabinoid action and metabolism. ”

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