Endocrine Abstracts (2006) 11 P358

The vasodilatory action of oestrogen in isolated human pulmonary arteries

AM Smith2, RK Sandher1, RD Jones1, TH Jones3 & KS Channer2


1University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom; 2Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, United Kingdom; 3Barnsley District General Hospital, Barnsley, United Kingdom.


Background: This study was carried out to assess the vasodilatory effect of oestrogen in the human pulmonary circulation. The influence of gender upon the response to oestrogen was also assessed.

Method: Isolated human pulmonary arteries were studied by wire myography. Vessels were obtained from male (n=6, age 70±9 years) and female (n=6, age 59±9 years) patients. The study was approved by the local ethics committee. Vessels were preconstricted with U46619 (1 μM) and endothelial integrity was tested with acetylcholine (1 μM). Vessels were then washed before the addition of increasing concentrations of U46619 (1nM-100μM) prior to exposing them to either oestrogen (1 nM–100 μM) or ethanol vehicle.

Results: Results are shown in Table 1 as: Change in mean active tension (%) ± SEM. A statistically significant relaxation to oestrogen was seen, with male vessels dilating at significantly lower doses of oestrogen. There was however no significant difference in the magnitude of the response to oestrogen between the sexes.

Conclusion: Oestrogen acts as an efficacious vasodilator in the human pulmonary circulation, with no marked differences observed in the response dependant on sex. Oestrogen may therefore be a potential novel agent in the treatment of pulmonary vascular disease, namely pulmonary hypertension.

Table 1
Gender0.1 μM1.0 μM3 μM10 μM30 μM100 μM
Male−2.3±0.9*−3.3±1.0*−3.3±1.2*−5.1±1.6*−10.8±3.2*−26.1±3.6*
Female−0.1±1.8−0.5±1.6−0.8 ±1.5−2.1±1.6−3.8±1.7−25.2±7.37*
*Represents significant dilation compared to ethanol vehicle (P<0.05 via students t test for independent variables).

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