Estrogen inhibits the vascular injury response in estrogen receptor β- deficient female mice

R. H. Karas, J. B. Hodgin, M. Kwoun, J. H. Krege, M. Aronovitz, W. Mackey, J. A. Gustafsson, K. S. Korach, O. Smithies, M. E. Mendelsohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

236 Scopus citations


The protective effects of estrogen in the cardiovascular system result from both systemic effects and direct actions of the hormone on the vasculature. Two estrogen receptors have been identified, ERα and ERβ. We demonstrated previously that estrogen inhibits the response to vascular injury in both wild-type and ERα-deficient mice, and that ERβ is expressed in the blood vessels of each, suggesting a role for ERβ in the vascular protective effects of estrogen. In the present study, we examined the effect of estrogen administration on mouse carotid arterial injury in ERβ-deficient mice. Surprisingly, in ovariectomized female wild-type and ERβ knockout mice, 17β-estradiol markedly and equally inhibited the increase in vascular medial area and the proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells after vascular injury. These data demonstrate that ERβ is not required for estrogen-mediated inhibition of the response to vascular injury, and suggest that either of the two known estrogen receptors is sufficient to protect against vascular injury, or that another unidentified estrogen receptor mediates the vascular protective effects of estrogen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15133-15136
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number26
StatePublished - Dec 21 1999


  • 17β-estradiol
  • Vascular smooth muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General


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