A Potential Involvement of Anandamide in the Modulation of HO/NOS Systems: Women, Menopause, and “Medical Cannabinoids”, 2020

Topics: anandamide; cardiovascular system; heme oxygenase; nitric oxide synthase

Authors: Renáta Szabó, Denise Börzsei, Zsuzsanna Szabó, Alexandra Hoffmann, István Zupkó, Dániel Priksz, Krisztina Kupai, Csaba Varga, Anikó Pósa


Endocannabinoids and their receptors are present in the cardiovascular system; however, their actions under different pathological conditions remain controversial. The aim of our study was to examine the effects of anandamide (AEA) on heme oxygenase (HO) and nitric oxide synthase (NOS) systems in an estrogen-depleted rat model. Sham-operated (SO) and surgically induced estrogen-deficient (OVX) female Wistar rats were used. During a two-week period, a group of OVX rats received 0.1 mg/kg estrogen (E2) per os, while AEA-induced alterations were analyzed after two weeks of AEA treatment at the dose of 1.0 mg/kg. At the end of the experiment, cardiac activity and expression of HO and NOS enzymes, content of cannabinoid 1 receptor, as well as concentrations of transient potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) were measured. Our results show that estrogen withdrawal caused a significant decrease in both NOS and HO systems, and a similar tendency was observed regarding the TRPV1/CGRP pathway. Two weeks of either AEA or E2 treatment restored the adverse changes; however, the combined administration of these two molecules did not result in a further improvement. In light of the potential relationship between AEA and HO/NOS systems, AEA-induced upregulation of HO/NOS enzymes may be a therapeutic strategy in estrogen-deficient conditions.

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