Placental expression of the endocannabinoid system in preeclampsia.

Pregnancy Hypertension: An International Journal of Women's Cardiovascular Health

“In the present study, we aimed to analyze cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1), CB2 and fatty acid amid hydrolase (FAAH) expressions and localization in normal and preeclamptic placenta, in order to determine whether aberrant endocannabinoid activity is related to preeclampsia…

We observed markedly higher expression of CB1 protein in preeclamptic placental tissue. Increased CB1 expression might cause abnormal decidualization and impair trophoblast invasion, thus being involved in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia. As CB1 activation can induce endothelial dysfunction and enhance vascular inflammation, the strong CB1 immunoreaction in vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells suggests that CB1 may contribute to the development of atherosis in the placental villi shown earlier in preeclampsia.

While the detailed pathogenesis of preeclampsia is still unclear, the endocannabinoid system could play a role in the development of the disease.”

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