Copyright © 2017 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. Standard hormone therapy for menopausal women [conjugated equine estrogen (CEE) 0.625 mg] has been associated with increased risk of venous thrombosis. Regimens containing a lower CEE dose (0.30 mg) have been used clinically to decrease side effects of supraphysiologic doses of estrogen. In this study, we determined the effects of standard (SD) and low dose (LD) of CEE on venular function in ovariectomized (OVX) spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Contractions by angiotensin-II (Ang-II 10 μM) in perfused mesenteric venular bed were markedly increased in OVX (21.5 ± 1.3 mmHg) compared with Sham (14.7 ± 1.1 mm Hg, P < 0.05). CEE-SD did not modify Ang-II responses in OVX, whereas CEE-LD restored Ang-II contraction to Sham levels. Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) inhibition by L-NAME increased Ang-II contractions in Sham and CEE-LD and was without effect in venules of OVX SHR and CEESD. In OVX there was decreased NO generation in association with diminished eNOS phosphorylation and increased O2- generation in the venular wall. CEE-LD reverted the deleterious effects of ovariectomy. Although CEE-SD augmented eNOS phosphorylation in OVX, it was unable to increase NO levels, probably owing to its inability to reduce O2-. Distinct effects by CEE-SD and CEE-LD parallel the differential modulation of Ang-II and estrogen receptors. Compared with Sham, CEE-LD increases Ang II receptor type 2, whereas CEE-SD modified ERb expression in the venous bed. Interestingly, both CEE doses increased G protein-coupled estrogen receptor in OVX. Our data suggest that estrogen dose is an important factor for venous function. Although CEE-LD reversed deleterious effects of OVX, CEE-SD showed null effects despite its ability to increase eNOS activity.
|Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
|Published - 1 Jul 2017