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Estrogen receptor actions on vascular biology and inflammation: implications in vascular pathophysiology.

Abstract : Whereas hormonal therapy (HT) may increase the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke in menopausal women, epidemiological studies (protection in premenopausal women) suggest and experimental studies (prevention of fatty streak development in animals) demonstrate a major atheroprotective action of estradiol (E2). The understanding of the deleterious and beneficial effects of estrogens is thus required at both a cellular and molecular level. Both the endothelium and the immuno-inflammatory system play a key role in the development of fatty streak deposit as well as in the rupture of the atherosclerotic plaque. Whereas E2 favors an anti-inflammatory effect in vitro (cultured cells), it rather elicits a pro-inflammatory response in vivo at the level of several subpopulations of the immuno-inflammatory system, which could contribute to plaque destabilization. E2 promotes beneficial actions on the endothelium such as nitric oxide and prostacyclin production. E2 actions are essentially mediated by two molecular targets: estrogen receptor alpha (ER-alpha) and beta (ER-beta), but the former appears to mediate most of the actions of E2 on the endothelium and on the immune system. ER-alpha modulates target gene transcription through two activation functions (AF), AF-1 and AF-2, even though signalling via ER-alpha located at the plasma membrane (responsible for membrane-initiated steroid signalling (MISS)/(extra-genomic)) can also lead to an indirect effect on gene transcription. Recently, we demonstrated that ER-alpha AF-1 is not required for the vasculoprotective actions of E2, whereas it is necessary for the effects of E2 on its reproductive targets. These results suggest that selective estrogen receptor modulators stimulating ER-alpha with minimal activation of ER-alpha AF-1 could retain beneficial vascular actions, while minimizing the sexual effects.
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Contributor : Marie Francoise Simon Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - 3:27:59 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 1, 2022 - 4:29:31 AM


  • HAL Id : inserm-00512765, version 1
  • PUBMED : 19811234



Jean-François Arnal, Henrik Laurell, Coralie Fontaine, Audrey Billon, Bertrand Calippe, et al.. Estrogen receptor actions on vascular biology and inflammation: implications in vascular pathophysiology.. Climacteric, Taylor & Francis, 2009, 12 Suppl 1, pp.12-7. ⟨inserm-00512765⟩



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