Increased magnitude of relaxation to oestrogen in aorta from oestrogen receptor β knock-out mice

B. O. Nilsson, E. Ekblad, T. Heine, J. A. Gustafsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Micromolar concentrations of the biologically active oestrogen 17β-oestradiol reduce agonist-induced force in vascular preparations through an unidentified mechanism. The aim of the present study was to investigate the importance of oestrogen receptor β (ERβ) for oestrogen-induced vascular relaxation. 17β-oestradiol was added to aortic tings from ERβ knock-out (-/-) and wild-type (+/+) mice precontracted with noradrenaline. 17β-oestradiol caused a concentration-dependent (1-100 μM) relaxation of aortic rings from both -/- and +/+ animals of both sexes. Rings from male and female -/- mice were more sensitive to 17β-oestradiol than those from +/+ mice. Medial thickness, determined by computerized image analysis, was similar in tings from -/- and +/+ animals. Endothelium, as determined by immuno-cytochemistry, was present in -/- and +/+ aorta. Maximal noradrenaline evoked force and sensitivity to noradrenaline were similar in both groups. In summary ERβ modulates vascular relaxation to μM concentrations of oestrogen; lack of ERβ renders the vascular wall supersensitive to 17β-oestradiol. Lack of ERβ caused no change in vascular wall morphology suggesting that this ER subtype is not involved in vascular structure development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R5-R9
JournalJournal of Endocrinology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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