Local uterine Ang-(1–7) infusion augments the expression of cannabinoid receptors and differentially alters endocannabinoid metabolizing enzymes in the decidualized uterus of pseudopregnant rats

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Date of Publication



2013 Carolina Cannabinoid Collaborative


Richmond, VA



Endocannabinoids (ECs) are important contributors to implantation and decidualization and are suppressed in early pregnancy. Elevated levels of anandamide (AEA), the endogenous ligand for the CB1 and CB2 receptors (R), interfere with receptivity of the blastocyst. Ang-(1–7) is down-regulated in the implantation site (IS) in normal pregnancy at day 7 of gestation. We determined the effects of intra-uterine angiotensin-(1–7) [Ang-(1–7)] (24 microg/kg/h) or vehicle given into the left uterine horn on the ECs in the decidualized uterus.


Ovariectomized rats were sensitized for the decidual cell reaction by steroid treatment and decidualization was induced by a bolus of oil injected into the left horn; the right horn served as a control.


Decidualization increased endometrial permeability (3.1+/−0.2 vs. 7.1+/−0.5 uterus/muscle of cpm of (125)I-BSA, p < 0.0001). VEGF mRNA was increased by the decidualization (1.4-fold, p < 0.05) and by Ang-(1–7) (2.0-fold, p < 0.001). CB1R mRNA was reduced by decidualization (2.7-fold, p < 0.001), but increased by Ang-(1–7) (1.9-fold, p < 0.05). CB2R mRNA was increased by decidualization (4-fold, p < 0.05) and by Ang-(1–7) (2.4-fold, p < 0.001). The enzyme metabolizing AEA, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), was reduced by decidualization (7.8 fold, p < 0.001) and unchanged by Ang-(1–7) (p > 0.05), whereas the enzyme metabolizing 2-arachidonoylglycerol, monoacyl glycerol lipase (MAGL), was unchanged by decidualization (p > 0.05) and increased by Ang-(1–7) (1.7 fold, p < 0.001).


These findings report for the first time that Ang-(1–7) augments the expression of CB1R, CB2R and MAGL in the decidualized uterus and thus may interfere with the early events of decidualization.

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