The endocannabinoid anandamide induces apoptosis of rat decidual cells through a mechanism involving ceramide synthesis and p38 MAPK activation

B M Fonseca, G Correia-da-Silva, N A Teixeira
Apoptosis: An International Journal on Programmed Cell Death 2013, 18 (12): 1526-35
Anandamide (AEA) belongs to an endogenous family of lipid messengers, called endocannabinoids (ECs), which exert pharmacological effects by binding to selective membrane receptors, the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Increasing evidence suggests that AEA is involved in the regulation of a variety of cell signalling pathways both in experimental models and humans. We have previously demonstrated that ECs machinery operates in decidual cells and found that AEA, the principal EC, induced apoptosis in decidual cells through CB1. Here, we investigated in rat primary decidual cells the signal transduction pathways activated upon AEA binding to CB1. We found that AEA induces a significant increase in the level of intracellular ceramide. These effects were reversed by inhibiting CB1 receptor activation with AM251. The ceramide analogue, C6-ceramide, induced a decrease in decidual cell viability and of p38 MAPK phosphorylation. Additionally, the pharmacologic inhibition of de novo ceramide biosynthesis with L-cycloserine and fumonisin B reduced the AEA-effects on cell viability and p38 MAPK phosphorylation. Furthermore, AEA and C6-ceramide induced a drop in ΔΨm, an increase in ROS production and caspase-3/-7 activation, effects partially reverted by inhibitors of ceramide synthesis and of p38 MAPK. Taken together, we showed that AEA induces a reduction in decidual cell viability by a mechanism involving CB1 activation, which results in ceramide synthesis de novo and p38 phosphorylation, followed by mitochondrial stress and ROS production, leading to apoptosis.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"