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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism