Estrogen receptors and endothelium. - Inserm - Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale Access content directly
Journal Articles Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology Year : 2010

Estrogen receptors and endothelium.


Estrogens, and in particular 17beta-estradiol (E2), play a pivotal role in sexual development and reproduction and are also implicated in a large number of physiological processes, including the cardiovascular system. Both acetylcholine-induced and flow-dependent vasodilation are preserved or potentiated by estrogen treatment in both animal models and humans. Indeed, E2 increases the endothelial production of nitric oxide and prostacyclin and prevents early atheroma through endothelial-mediated mechanisms. Furthermore, whereas it prevents endothelial activation, E2 potentiates the ability of several subpopulations of the circulating or resident immune cells to produce proinflammatory cytokines. The balance between these 2 actions could determine the final effect in a given pathophysiological process. E2 also promotes endothelial healing, as well as angiogenesis. Estrogen actions are essentially mediated by 2 molecular targets: estrogen receptor-alpha (ERalpha) and ERbeta. The analysis of mouse models targeted for ERalpha or ERbeta demonstrated a prominent role of ERalpha in vascular biology. ERalpha directly modulates transcription of target genes through 2 activation functions (AFs), AF-1 and AF-2. Interestingly, an AF-1-deficient ERalpha isoform can be physiologically expressed in the endothelium and appears sufficient to mediate most of the vasculoprotective actions of E2. In contrast, AF-1 is necessary for the E2 actions in reproductive targets. Thus, it appears conceivable to uncouple the vasculoprotective and sexual actions with appropriate selective ER modulators.

Dates and versions

inserm-00504272 , version 1 (20-07-2010)



Jean-François Arnal, Coralie Fontaine, Audrey Billon-Galés, Julie Favre, Henrik Laurell, et al.. Estrogen receptors and endothelium.. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, 2010, 30 (8), pp.1506-12. ⟨10.1161/ATVBAHA.109.191221⟩. ⟨inserm-00504272⟩
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