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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2013, Article ID 436252, 14 pages
Research Article

Brain Levels of Prostaglandins, Endocannabinoids, and Related Lipids Are Affected by Mating Strategies

1Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Indiana University, 1101 East 10th Street, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
2Department of Psychology, The University at Albany, SUNY, 1400 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12222, USA
3Department of Chemistry, University of Alaska-Fairbanks, 900 Yukon Drive, Fairbanks, AK 99775-6160, USA

Received 19 July 2013; Accepted 19 September 2013

Academic Editor: Rosaria Meccariello

Copyright © 2013 Jordyn M. Stuart et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Endogenous cannabinoids (eCBs) are involved in the development and regulation of reproductive behaviors. Likewise, prostaglandins (PGs) drive sexual differentiation and initiation of ovulation. Here, we use lipidomics strategies to test the hypotheses that mating immediately activates the biosynthesis and/or metabolism of eCBs and PGs and that specific mating strategies differentially regulate these lipids in the brain. Methods. Lipid extractions and tandem mass spectrometric analysis were performed on brains from proestrous rats that had experienced one of two mating strategies (paced or standard mating) and two nonmated groups (chamber exposed and home cage controls). Levels of PGs (PGE2 and PGF2alpha), eCBs (AEA and 2-AG, N-arachidonoyl glycine), and 4 related lipids (4 N-acylethanolamides) were measured in olfactory bulb, hypothalamus, hippocampus, thalamus, striatum, midbrain, cerebellum, and brainstem. Results. Overall, levels of these lipids were significantly lower among paced compared to standard mated rats with the most dramatic decreases observed in brainstem, hippocampus, midbrain, and striatum. However, chamber exposed rats had significantly higher levels of these lipids compared to home cage controls and paced mated wherein the hippocampus showed the largest increases. Conclusions. These data demonstrate that mating strategies and exposure to mating arenas influence lipid signaling in the brain.