Estrogen plus progestin treatment: effect of different progestin components on serum markers of apoptosis in healthy postmenopausal women
Maria Karaflou1, George Kaparos2, Demetrios Rizos2, Emanuel Logothetis1, Andreas Alexandrou3, Leon Aravantinos1, Maria Creatsa1, George Christodoulakos1, Irene Lambrinoudaki1 & Evangelia Kouskouni1
Objective: To investigate the effect of two hormone therapy (HT) regimens differing only in their progestin component on serum markers of apoptosis.
Design: Randomized, double-blinded study.
Patients: One hundred healthy postmenopausal women.
Interventions: Patients were randomized to 17β-estradiol 1 mg/drosperinone 2 mg (E2/DSP) or 17β-estradiol 1 mg/norethisterone acetate 0.5 mg (E2/NETA) for 6 months.
Main outcome measures: Serum soluble Fas (sFas), soluble Fas Ligand (sFasL) and cytochrome-c (cyt-c) at baseline and at 6 months.
Results: Serum sFas and serum sFasL significantly decreased in both groups. Serum cyt-c in both groups was undetectable. sFas/sFasL ratios were reduced in both groups.
Conclusions: sFas/sFasL ratios decreased in both groups suggesting a decrease in apoptosis associated with the above pathway. cyt-c levels were undetectable, suggesting an absence of mitochondria-associated apoptosis.