Acute injection of 17beta-estradiol enhances ...

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Title Acute injection of 17beta-estradiol enhances cardiovascular reflexes and autonomic tone in ovariectomized female rats
Author(s) Tarek M. Saleh, B. J. Connell, M. C. Saleh
Journal Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic & Clinical
Date 2000
Volume 84
Issue 1-2
Start page 78
End page 88
Abstract Among the many benefits of long-term hormone replacement therapy to postmenopausal women is a significant reduction in risk for and progression of cardiovascular disease. However, long-term estrogen replacement therapy has been associated with several undesirable, and likely dose-dependent, side-effects. There is some evidence to suggest that the dose of estrogen which confers optimal beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system is much lower than that which is currently prescribed for postmenopausal women. The following experiments were conducted to determine the dose-response relationship of acutely administered estrogen on autonomic tone and reflex control of heart rate in ovariectomized Sprague-Dawley female rats. Rats were anaesthetized with sodium thiobutabarbital (100 mg/kg) and instrumented to record blood pressure, heart rate and efferent parasympathetic and sympathetic nerve activities. The sensitivity of the cardiac baroreflex was tested using intravenous injection of either phenylephrine hydrochloride (0.025-0.1 mg/kg) or sodium nitroprusside (0.0025-0.01 mg/kg). Intravenous injection of estrogen produced dose-dependent increases in the magnitude of the baroreflex sensitivity and parasympathetic tone while reducing sympathetic tone with a maximal effect observed at 1 x 10(-3) mg/kg. Prior administration of the selective estrogen receptor antagonist, ICI 182,780 blocked the estrogen-induced changes in baroreflex sensitivity and autonomic tone. These results demonstrate that acutely administered, low-dose estrogen has beneficial effects on autonomic tone and cardiovascular reflexes.

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