The role of endocannabinoid hydrolase ABHD2 in ovarian aging
The lab has characterized a novel progesterone receptor in sperm, termed α/β hydrolase domain–containing protein 2 (ABHD2). Unlike other progesterone receptors, ABHD2 is an enzyme that breaks down endogenous cannabinoid 2-AG into glycerol and arachidonic acid, resulting in CatSper ion channel activation (Figure 1). We also found that ABHD2 is highly expressed in the ovarian stroma (Figure 2). Recent studies indicate that 2-AG levels decrease in the aging tissues, while the activity of 2-AG degrading enzymes increases. Interestingly, our preliminary data indicate that Abhd2-/- female mice produce a significantly higher number of mature and fertile eggs in comparison to their wild-type littermates, and overall display delayed reproductive aging. Therefore, our goal is to dissect the mechanism by which this new player regulates female reproductive cycle and aging.