Estrogen receptor-alpha mediates estrogen protection from angiotensin II-induced hypertension in conscious female mice

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2007 Apr;292(4):H1770-6. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.01011.2005. Epub 2006 Dec 1.


It has been shown that the female sex hormones have a protective role in the development of angiotensin II (ANG II)-induced hypertension. The present study tested the hypotheses that 1) the estrogen receptor-alpha (ERalpha) is involved in the protective effects of estrogen against ANG II-induced hypertension and 2) central ERs are involved. Blood pressure (BP) was measured in female mice with the use of telemetry implants. ANG II (800 was administered subcutaneously via an osmotic pump. Baseline BP in the intact, ovariectomized (OVX) wild-type (WT) and ERalpha knockout (ERalphaKO) mice was similar; however, the increase in BP induced by ANG II was greater in OVX WT (23.0 +/- 1.0 mmHg) and ERalphaKO mice (23.8 +/- 2.5 mmHg) than in intact WT mice (10.1 +/- 4.5 mmHg). In OVX WT mice, central infusion of 17beta-estradiol (E(2); 30 attenuated the pressor effect of ANG II (7.0 +/- 0.4 mmHg), and this protective effect of E(2) was prevented by coadministration of ICI-182,780 (ICI; 1.5, 18.8 +/- 1.5 mmHg), a nonselective ER antagonist. Furthermore, central, but not peripheral, infusions of ICI augmented the pressor effects of ANG II in intact WT mice (17.8 +/- 4.2 mmHg). In contrast, the pressor effect of ANG II was unchanged in either central E(2)-treated OVX ERalphaKO mice (19.0 +/- 1.1 mmHg) or central ICI-treated intact ERalphaKO mice (19.6 +/- 1.6 mmHg). Lastly, ganglionic blockade on day 7 after ANG II infusions resulted in a greater reduction in BP in OVX WT, central ER antagonist-treated intact WT, central E(2) + ICI-treated OVX WT, ERalphaKO, and central E(2)- or ICI-treated ERalphaKO mice compared with that in intact WT mice given just ANG II. Together, these data indicate that ERalpha, especially central expression of the ER, mediates the protective effects of estrogen against ANG II-induced hypertension.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin II / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Consciousness
  • Estradiol / analogs & derivatives
  • Estradiol / metabolism*
  • Estradiol / pharmacology
  • Estrogen Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha / genetics
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Fulvestrant
  • Ganglionic Blockers / pharmacology
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Hypertension / chemically induced
  • Hypertension / metabolism*
  • Injections, Intraventricular
  • Lateral Ventricles
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Ovariectomy
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents / pharmacology*


  • Estrogen Antagonists
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha
  • Ganglionic Blockers
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents
  • Angiotensin II
  • Fulvestrant
  • Estradiol