Journal of molecular endocrinology

GPER modulates tone and coronary vascular reactivity in male and female rats.

PMID 28733475


Compared with age-matched men, premenopausal women are largely protected from coronary artery disease, a difference that is lost after menopause. The effects of oestrogens are mediated by the activation of nuclear receptors (ERα and ERβ) and by the G protein-coupled oestrogen receptor (GPER). This study aims to evaluate the potential role of GPER in coronary circulation in female and male rats. The baseline coronary perfusion pressure (CPP) and the concentration-response curve with a GPER agonist (G-1) were evaluated in isolated hearts before and after the blockade of GPER. GPER, superoxide dismutase (SOD-2), catalase and gp91phox protein expression were assessed by Western blotting. Superoxide production was evaluated 'in situ' via dihydroethidium fluorescence (DHE). GPER blockade significantly increased the CPP in both groups, demonstrating the modulation of coronary tone by GPER. G-1 causes relaxation of the coronary bed in a concentration-dependent manner and was significantly higher in female rats. No differences were detected in GPER, SOD-2 and catalase protein expression. However, gp91phox expression and DHE fluorescence were higher in male rats, indicating elevated superoxide production. Therefore, GPER plays an important role in modulating coronary tone and reactivity in female and male rats. The observed differences in vascular reactivity may be related to the higher superoxide production in male rats. These findings help to elucidate the role of GPER-modulating coronary circulation, providing new information to develop a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of coronary heart disease.