Background: Gastroparesis (GP) is a motility disorder of the stomach presenting with upper gastrointestinal symptoms in the setting of delayed gastric emptying. Endocannabinoids are involved in the regulation of GI function including motility. However, their role in the pathophysiology of GP has not been sufficiently investigated. Our goal was to compare the circulating levels of endocannabinoids and cannabimimetic fatty acid derivatives in GP versus control subjects.
Methods: The study compared plasma concentrations of endocannabinoids and their lipoamine and 2-acyl glycerol congeners, measured by high-pressure liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS-MS), in adult patients with diabetic gastroparesis (DM-GP; n = 24; n = 16 female), idiopathic gastroparesis (ID-GP; n = 19; n = 11 female), diabetic patients without GP (DM; n = 19; n = 10 female), and healthy controls (HC; n = 18; n = 10 female). Data, presented as mean ± SEM, were analyzed with ANOVA (Sidak post hoc).
Key results: Endocannabinoids anandamide (AEA: 0.5 ± 0.1 nMol/L) and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG: 2.6 ± 0.7 nMol/L) were significantly lower in female DM-GP patients vs. DM females (AEA: 2.5 ± 0.7 nMol/L and 2-AG: 9.4 ± 3.3 nMol/L). Other monoacylglycerols including 2-palmitoyl glycerol and 2-oleoyl glycerol were also lower in female DM-GP patients compared to DM females. No changes were observed in men.
Conclusions & inferences: Endocannabinoids and other fatty acid derivatives with cannabimimetic properties are reduced in female DM-GP patients. Since GP, particularly with diabetic etiology, is more prevalent among women and since cannabinoids are antiemetic, this decrease in levels may contribute to symptom development in these subjects. Targeting the endocannabinoid system may be a future therapeutic option in DM-GP patients.
Keywords: 2-arachidonoyl glycerol, anandamide, endocannabinoid, gastroparesis
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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