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Estrogenic vascular effects are diminished by chronological aging

Lookup NU author(s): Chris Nicholson, Dr Michele Sweeney, Professor Steve RobsonORCiD, Professor Michael TaggartORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2017 The Author(s). The beneficial role of estrogen in the vascular system may be due, in part, through reduction of peripheral vascular resistance. The use of estrogen therapy to prevent cardiovascular disease in post-menopausal women remains contentious. This study investigated the influence of aging and the menopause on the acute vasodilatory effects of estrogen using ex vivo human and murine resistance arteries. Vessels were obtained from young (2.9 ± 0.1 months) and aged (24.2 ± 0.1 and 28.9 ± 0.3 months) female mice and pre-(42.3 ± 0.5 years) and post-menopausal (61.9 ± 0.9 years) women. Aging was associated with profound structural alterations of murine uterine arteries, including the occurrence of outward hypertrophic remodeling and increased stiffness. Endothelial and smooth muscle function were diminished in uterine (and tail) arteries from aged mice and post-menopausal women. The acute vasodilatory effects of 17β-estradiol (non-specific estrogen receptor (ER) agonist), PPT (ERα-specific agonist) and DPN (ERβ-specific agonist) on resistance arteries were attenuated by aging and the menopause. However, the impairment of estrogenic relaxation was evident after the occurrence of age-related endothelial dysfunction and diminished distensibility. The data indicate, therefore, that chronological resistance arterial aging is a prominent factor leading to weakened vasodilatory action of estrogenic compounds.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Nicholson CJ, Sweeney M, Robson SC, Taggart MJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Scientific Reports

Year: 2017

Volume: 7

Online publication date: 22/09/2017

Acceptance date: 07/08/2017

Date deposited: 20/10/2017

ISSN (electronic): 2045-2322

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-12153-5


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