Am J Perinatol 2015; 32(12): 1145-1150
DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1549397
Original Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Endocannabinoid Levels in Newborns in Relation to the Mode of Delivery

Viktoria Jokisch
1   Clinic of Neonatology, University Medical Center Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany
Richard Kroll
2   Department of Pediatric Surgery, University Medical Center Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany
Beat Lutz
3   Institute of Physiological Chemistry, University Medical Center Mainz of the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany
Laura Bindila
3   Institute of Physiological Chemistry, University Medical Center Mainz of the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany
Regine Schaffelder
4   Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University Medical Center Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany
Thomas Schaible
1   Clinic of Neonatology, University Medical Center Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

22 January 2015

06 March 2015

Publication Date:
27 April 2015 (online)


Objective This study aims to examine the endocannabinoid levels in newborns in relation to the mode of delivery.

Study Design In this study, the concentrations of the endocannabinoids anandamide (AEA), 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG), palmitoylethanolamine (PEA), and the metabolite arachidonic acid (AA) in umbilical cord vein blood of 49 newborns was determined by quantitative mass spectrometry using liquid chromatography multiple reaction monitoring. The newborns were divided by their mode of delivery. Only healthy newborns born after 340/7 gestational weeks without birth complications were included.

Results The concentration of AEA, PEA, and AA was significantly higher in vaginal delivered newborns (n = 25) in comparison to newborns born by cesarean delivery (n = 24). 2-AG exhibited no significant differences between the groups.

Conclusion The exposure of the newborn to high endocannabinoid concentrations is a physiological process during vaginal delivery. The endocannabinoids AEA, PEA, and their metabolite AA seem to be part of an endocrine system during labor and birth supporting the fetal transition.

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