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The objectives of this study were to determine whether acute dilatory responses to estrogen receptor agonists are altered in isolated arteries from estrogen receptor beta-deficient mice (beta-ERKO) and to gain insight into the role of nitric oxide (NO) in these responses. Femoral arteries (approximately 250 microm) from male and female beta-ERKO mice and wild-type (WT) littermates (26 female, 13 in each group; and 24 male, 12 in each group) were mounted on a Multi-Myograph. Concentration-response curves to 17beta-estradiol (17beta-E2) and the selective estrogen receptor-alpha (ER-alpha) agonist propyl-[1H]-pyrazole-1,3,5-triy-trisphenol (PPT) were obtained before and after NO synthase (NOS) inhibition [Nomega-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), 0.1 mM] in arteries preconstricted with U-46619 (a thromboxane analog). In WT mice, responses to the potent estrogen receptor-beta (ER-beta) agonist 2,3-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)-propionitrile (DPN) and the contribution of NO were also assessed. Concentration-response curves to 17beta-E2 and PPT were similar in arteries from WT and -ERKO mice of both genders, but NO-mediated relaxation was different, since L-NAME reduced 17-E2 mediated relaxation in arteries from male and female beta-ERKO but not WT mice (P < 0.05). NOS inhibition reduced dilation to PPT in arteries from male and female WT mice, as well as arteries from female beta-ERKO mice (P < 0.05). Responses to DPN in arteries from WT female and male mice did not differ after NOS inhibition. The acute dilatory responses to estrogenic compounds are similar in WT and beta-ERKO mice but differ mechanistically. Because NO appeared to contribute to responses to 17beta-E2 in arteries from beta-ERKO but not WT mice, the presence of ER- apparently inhibits ER--mediated NO relaxation.

Original publication




Journal article


Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol

Publication Date





H823 - H829


Animals, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Enzyme Inhibitors, Estradiol, Estrogen Receptor alpha, Estrogen Receptor beta, Estrogens, Female, Femoral Artery, Male, Mice, Mice, Knockout, NG-Nitroarginine Methyl Ester, Nitric Oxide Synthase, Nitriles, Osmolar Concentration, Phenols, Pyrazoles, Sex Characteristics, Vasodilation