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.