Stability and inter-family associations of hair endocannabinoid and N-acylethanolamines across the perinatal period in mothers, fathers, and children

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Analysis of endocannabinoids (ECs) and N-acylethanolamines (NAEs) in hair is assumed to retrospectively assess long-term EC/NAE concentrations. To inform their use, this study investigated stability of EC/NAE hair concentrations in mothers, fathers, and their children across the perinatal period as well as associations between family members. In a prospective cohort study, EC (AEA, 1-AG/2-AG) and NAE (SEA, PEA, OEA) levels were quantified in hair samples taken four times in mothers (n = 336) and their partners (n = 225) from pregnancy to two years postpartum and in offspring (n = 319) from shortly after birth to two years postpartum. Across the perinatal period, maternal and paternal hair ECs/NAEs showed poor multiple-test consistency (16–36%) and variable relative stability, as well as inconsistent absolute stability for mothers. Regarding children, hair ECs/NAEs evidenced poor multiple-test consistency (4–19%), no absolute stability, and either no or variable relative stability. Hair ECs/NAEs showed small to medium significant associations across the perinatal period within couples and parent–child dyads. Findings suggest hair ECs/NAEs during the perinatal period possess variable stability in adults, albeit more stability in fathers than mothers in this time. This highlights the need to further investigate factors associated with changes in hair ECs/NAEs across time. The first two years of life may be a dynamic phase for the endocannabinoid system in children, potentially characterized by complex within-family correspondence that requires further systematic investigation.


Original languageEnglish
Article number9459
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2024

External IDs

PubMed 38658668
ORCID /0000-0001-6790-8679/work/160477402
ORCID /0000-0002-1171-7133/work/160479992
ORCID /0000-0002-7472-674X/work/160480122


ASJC Scopus subject areas