Vascular pharmacology

The effects of estrogen and testosterone on gene expression in the rat mesenteric arteries.

PMID 17652031


A dramatic difference exists in the timing of development of cardiovascular disease in men vs. women. The primary candidates underlying the cause of this gender difference are the sex steroids, estrogen and testosterone. The vasculature is considered to be a site of action of these steroids. In spite of these concepts there is little data on the direct effects of estrogen and testosterone on gene expression in the vasculature. In this study, ovariectomized Sprague Dawley rats were treated for 4 days with vehicle (sesame oil), estradiol benzoate (0.15 mg/kg/day), or testosterone (1 mg/kg/day). The mesenteric arteries were obtained, total RNA was extracted, and CodeLink Uniset Rat I DNA microarrays were used to identify differential gene expression. Seven genes were identified as differentially expressed from the DNA microarray data and confirmed by real time RT-PCR. The expression of D site albumin promoter binding protein and fatty acid synthase were increased in response to both estrogen and testosterone. 3 alpha-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, interleukin 4 receptor, JunB and c-Fos expression were increased by estrogen but not by testosterone. Aryl hydrocarbon nuclear translocator-like gene was reduced by testosterone. These data identify genes not previously known to be responsive to estrogen and testosterone in the vasculature.

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