S P Duckles

University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California, United States

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Publications (156)582.83 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We previously found that estrogen exerts a novel protective effect on mitochondria in brain vasculature. Here we demonstrate in rat cerebral blood vessels that 17β-estradiol (estrogen), both in vivo and ex vivo, affects key transcriptional coactivators responsible for mitochondrial regulation. Treatment of ovariectomized rats with estrogen in vivo lowered mRNA levels of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1 alpha (PGC-1α) but increased levels of the other PGC-1 isoforms: PGC-1β and PGC-1 related coactivator (PRC). In vessels ex vivo, estrogen decreased protein levels of PGC-1α via activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K). Estrogen treatment also increased phosphorylation of forkhead transcription factor, FoxO1, a known pathway for PGC-1α downregulation. In contrast to the decrease in PGC-1α, estrogen increased protein levels of nuclear respiratory factor 1, a known PGC target and mediator of mitochondrial biogenesis. The latter effect of estrogen was independent of PI3K, suggesting a separate mechanism consistent with increased expression of PGC-1β and PRC. We demonstrated increased mitochondrial biogenesis following estrogen treatment in vivo; cerebrovascular levels of mitochondrial transcription factor A and electron transport chain subunits as well as the mitochondrial/nuclear DNA ratio were increased. We examined a downstream target of PGC-1β, glutamate-cysteine ligase (GCL), the rate-limiting enzyme for glutathione synthesis. In vivo estrogen increased protein levels of both GCL subunits and total glutathione levels. Together these data show estrogen differentially regulates PGC-1 isoforms in brain vasculature, underscoring the importance of these coactivators in adapting mitochondria in specific tissues. By upregulating PGC-1β and/or PRC, estrogen appears to enhance mitochondrial biogenesis, function and reactive oxygen species protection.
    European journal of pharmacology 11/2013; · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mitochondria support the energy-intensive functions of brain endothelium but also produce damaging-free radicals that lead to disease. Previously, we found that estrogen treatment protects cerebrovascular mitochondria, increasing capacity for ATP production while decreasing reactive oxygen species (ROS). To determine whether these effects occur specifically in endothelium in vivo and also explore underlying transcriptional mechanisms, we studied freshly isolated brain endothelial preparations from intact and ovariectomized female mice. This preparation reflects physiologic influences of circulating hormones, hemodynamic forces, and cell-cell interactions of the neurovascular unit. Loss of ovarian hormones affected endothelial expression of the key mitochondrial regulator family, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator 1 (PGC-1), but in a unique way. Ovariectomy increased endothelial PGC-1α mRNA but decreased PGC-1β mRNA. The change in PGC-1β correlated with decreased mRNA for crucial downstream mitochondrial regulators, nuclear respiratory factor 1 and mitochondrial transcription factor A, as well as for ATP synthase and ROS protection enzymes, glutamate-cysteine ligase and manganese superoxide dismutase. Ovariectomy also decreased mitochondrial biogenesis (mitochondrial/nuclear DNA ratio). These results indicate ovarian hormones normally act through a distinctive regulatory pathway involving PGC-1β to support cerebral endothelial mitochondrial content and guide mitochondrial function to favor ATP coupling and ROS protection.Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism advance online publication, 24 October 2012; doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2012.159.
    Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism: official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 10/2012; · 5.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 17β-Estradiol (E2) has been shown to protect against ischemic brain injury, yet its targets and the mechanisms are unclear. E2 may exert multiple regulatory actions on astrocytes that may greatly contribute to its ability to protect the brain. Mitochondria are recognized as playing central roles in the development of injury during ischemia. Increasing evidence indicates that mitochondrial mechanisms are critically involved in E2-mediated protection. In this study, the effects of E2 and the role of mitochondria were evaluated in primary cultures of astrocytes subjected to an ischemia-like condition of oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD)/reperfusion. We showed that E2 treatment significantly protects against OGD/reperfusion-induced cell death as determined by cell viability, apoptosis, and lactate dehydrogenase leakage. The protective effects of E2 on astrocytic survival were blocked by an estrogen receptor (ER) antagonist (ICI-182,780) and were mimicked by an ER agonist selective for ERα (PPT), but not by an ER agonist selective for ERβ (DPN). OGD/reperfusion provoked mitochondrial dysfunction as manifested by an increase in cellular reactive oxygen species production, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, and depletion of ATP. E2 pretreatment significantly inhibited OGD/reperfusion-induced mitochondrial dysfunction, and this effect was also blocked by ICI-182,780. Therefore, we conclude that E2 provides direct protection to astrocytes from ischemic injury by an ER-dependent mechanism, highlighting an important role for ERα. Estrogen protects against mitochondrial dysfunction at the early phase of ischemic injury. However, overall implications for protection against brain ischemia and its complex sequelae await further exploration.
    Free Radical Biology & Medicine 04/2012; 52(11-12):2151-60. · 5.27 Impact Factor
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    02/2012; , ISBN: 978-953-51-0144-4
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    S P Duckles, D N Krause
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    ABSTRACT: Investigation of oestrogen action reveals a multitude of diverse effects. This brief review focuses on the impact of oestrogen on the vasculature, with particular emphasis on the cerebral circulation. Three major actions of oestrogen are discussed: enhancement of vasodilator capacity, suppression of vascular inflammation and increase in mitochondrial efficiency. In both humans and animals, oestrogen increases vasodilator tone, an effect dependent on a functional endothelium. Two distinct mechanisms are involved: increase in endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) mRNA and protein and phosphorylation of eNOS via the PI-3 kinase/Akt pathway. Both effects are mediated by oestrogen receptors (ER), but through two pathways, ER-mediated nuclear gene transcription and cell membrane-associated ERs respectively. Oestrogen also increases function of other endothelium-dependent vasodilators. Oestrogen suppresses vascular inflammation through an NF-κB-dependent effect. The inflammatory response has also been shown to vary significantly during the oestrous cycle of rodents. Emerging information shows that oestrogen increases mitochondrial biogenesis and decreases superoxide production. Suppression of mitochondrial superoxide production by 17β-estradiol in cerebral blood vessels is mediated by the ER-alpha receptor and not dependent on increased Mn superoxide dismutase activity. Oestrogen treatment also increases protein levels for a number of components of the electron transfer chain, as well as levels of transcription factors that regulate mitochondrial function. All of these actions of oestrogen could be important in mediating vascular protection, especially in the cerebral circulation. Furthermore, given the potential of mitochondrial DNA damage to contribute to pathophysiology and ageing, mitochondrial protective effects of oestrogen might contribute to the longer average lifespan of women.
    Acta Physiologica 09/2011; 203(1):149-54. · 4.38 Impact Factor
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    D N Krause, S P Duckles, R J Gonzales
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    ABSTRACT: Reproductive effects of sex steroids are well-known; however it is increasingly apparent that these hormones have important actions on non-reproductive tissues such as the vasculature. The latter effects can be relevant throughout the lifespan, not just limited to reproductive years, and are not necessarily restricted to one gender or the other. Our work has established that cerebral blood vessels are a non-reproductive target tissue for sex steroids. We have found that oestrogen and androgens alter vascular tone, endothelial function, oxidative stress and inflammatory responses in cerebral vessels. Often the actions of oestrogen and androgens oppose each other. Moreover, it is clear that cerebral vessels are directly targeted by sex steroids, as they express specific receptors for these hormones. Interestingly, cerebral blood vessels also express enzymes that metabolize sex steroids. These findings suggest that local synthesis of 17ß-estradiol and dihydrotestosterone can occur within the vessel wall. One of the enzymes present, aromatase, converts testosterone to 17ß-estradiol, which would alter the local balance of androgenic and oestrogenic influences. Thus cerebral vessels are affected by circulating sex hormones as well as locally synthesized sex steroids. The presence of vascular endocrine effector mechanisms has important implications for male-female differences in cerebrovascular function and disease. Moreover, the cerebral circulation is a target for gonadal hormones as well as anabolic steroids and therapeutic drugs used to manipulate sex steroid actions. The long-term consequences of these influences are yet to be determined.
    Acta Physiologica 05/2011; 203(1):181-6. · 4.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Numerous studies show the neuroprotective effects of estrogen, but the underlying mechanism still remains unclear. Recent studies indicate that mitochondria are critically involved in estrogen-mediated neuroprotection. Mitochondria are the main sources of cellular energy and reactive oxygen species (ROS), they play an important role in signaling transduction and cellular life-death decisions. Estrogen exerts multiple effects on mitochondria under physiological and/or pathological conditions, these effects may include modulating ATP and ROS production, preserving mitochondria membrane potential, maintaining calcium homeostasis, and regulating mitochondrial gene and protein expression, etc. In this paper, we discussed the neuroprotective effects of estrogen, particularly focused on the underlying mechanisms related to mitochondria.
    Sheng li ke xue jin zhan [Progress in physiology] 06/2010; 41(3):165-70.
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    Sue P Duckles, Virginia M Miller
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    ABSTRACT: Since the discovery of endothelium-derived relaxing factor and the subsequent identification of nitric oxide (NO) as the primary mediator of endothelium-dependent relaxations, research has focused on chemical and physical stimuli that modulate NO levels. Hormones represent a class of soluble, widely circulating chemical factors that impact production of NO both by rapid effects on the activity of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) through phosphorylation of the enzyme and longer term modulation through changes in amount of eNOS protein. Hormones that increase NO production including estrogen, progesterone, insulin, and growth hormone do so through both of these common mechanisms. In contrast, some hormones, including glucocorticoids, progesterone, and prolactin, decrease NO bioavailability. Mechanisms involved include binding to repressor response elements on the eNOS gene, competing for co-regulators common to hormones with positive genomic actions, regulating eNOS co-factors, decreasing substrate for eNOS, and increasing production of oxygen-derived free radicals. Feedback regulation by the hormones themselves as well as the ability of NO to regulate hormonal release provides a second level of complexity that can also contribute to changes in NO levels. These effects on eNOS and changes in NO production may contribute to variability in risk factors, presentation of and treatment for cardiovascular disease associated with aging, pregnancy, stress, and metabolic disorders in men and women.
    Pflügers Archiv - European Journal of Physiology 03/2010; 459(6):841-51. · 4.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protective effects of estrogen against experimental stroke and neuronal ischemic insult are well-documented, but it is not known whether estrogen prevents ischemic injury to brain endothelium, a key component of the neurovascular unit. Increasing evidence indicates that estrogen exerts protective effects through mitochondrial mechanisms. We previously found 17beta-estradiol (E2) to improve mitochondrial efficiency and reduce mitochondrial superoxide in brain blood vessels and endothelial cells. Thus we hypothesized E2 will preserve mitochondrial function and protect brain endothelial cells against ischemic damage. To test this, an in vitro ischemic model, oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD)/reperfusion, was applied to immortalized mouse brain endothelial cells (bEnd.3). OGD/reperfusion-induced cell death was prevented by long-term (24, 48 h), but not short-term (0.5, 12 h), pretreatment with 10 nmol/L E2. Protective effects of E2 on endothelial cell viability were mimicked by an estrogen-receptor (ER) agonist selective for ERalpha (PPT), but not by one selective for ERbeta (DPN). In addition, E2 significantly decreased mitochondrial superoxide and preserved mitochondrial membrane potential and ATP levels in early stages of OGD/reperfusion. All of the E2 effects were blocked by the ER antagonist, ICI-182,780. These findings indicate that E2 can preserve endothelial mitochondrial function and provide protection against ischemic injury through ER-mediated mechanisms.
    Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism: official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 10/2009; 30(3):545-54. · 5.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Our previous studies show that long-term testosterone treatment augments vascular tone under physiological conditions and exacerbates endotoxin-induced inflammation in the cerebral circulation. However, testosterone can be metabolized by aromatase to estrogen, evoking a balance between androgenic and estrogenic effects. Therefore, we investigated the effect of the nonaromatizable androgen receptor agonist, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), on the inflammatory nuclear factor-kappaB (NFkappaB) pathway in cerebral blood vessels. Cerebral arteries were isolated from orchiectomized male rats treated chronically with DHT in vivo. Alternatively, pial arteries were isolated from orchiectomized males and were exposed ex vivo to DHT or vehicle in culture medium. DHT treatment, in vivo or ex vivo, increased nuclear NFkappaB activation in cerebral arteries and increased levels of the proinflammatory products of NFkappaB activation, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). Effects of DHT on COX-2 and iNOS were attenuated by flutamide. In isolated pressurized middle cerebral arteries from DHT-treated rats, constrictions to the selective COX-2 inhibitor NS398 or the selective iNOS inhibitor L-nil, [L-N6-(Iminoethyl)lysine], were increased, confirming a functional consequence of DHT exposure. In conclusion, activation of the NFkappaB-mediated COX-2/iNOS pathway by the selective androgen receptor agonist, DHT, results in a state of vascular inflammation. This effect may contribute to sex-related differences in cerebrovascular pathophysiology.
    Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism: official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 10/2008; 29(2):244-53. · 5.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) and endothelial dysfunction are key contributors to cerebrovascular pathophysiology. We previously found that 17beta-estradiol profoundly affects mitochondrial function in cerebral blood vessels, enhancing efficiency of energy production and suppressing mitochondrial oxidative stress. To determine whether estrogen specifically affects endothelial mitochondria through receptor mechanisms, we used cultured human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs). 17beta-Estradiol treatment for 24 h increased mitochondrial cytochrome c protein and mRNA; use of silencing RNA for estrogen receptors (ERs) showed that this effect involved ERalpha, but not ERbeta. Mitochondrial ROS were determined by measuring the activity of aconitase, an enzyme with an iron-sulfur center inactivated by mitochondrial superoxide. 17beta-Estradiol increased mitochondrial aconitase activity in HBMECs, indicating a reduction in ROS. Direct measurement of mitochondrial superoxide with MitoSOX Red showed that 17beta-estradiol, but not 17alpha-estradiol, significantly decreased mitochondrial superoxide production, an effect blocked by the ER antagonist, ICI-182,780 (fulvestrant). Selective ER agonists demonstrated that the decrease in mitochondrial superoxide was mediated by ERalpha, not ERbeta. The selective estrogen receptor modulators, raloxifene and 4-hydroxy-tamoxifen, differentially affected mitochondrial superoxide production, with raloxifene acting as an agonist but 4-hydroxy-tamoxifen acting as an estrogen antagonist. Changes in superoxide by 17beta-estradiol could not be explained by changes in manganese superoxide dismutase. Instead, ERalpha-mediated decreases in mitochondrial ROS may depend on the concomitant increase in mitochondrial cytochrome c, previously shown to act as an antioxidant. Mitochondrial protective effects of estrogen in cerebral endothelium may contribute to sex differences in the occurrence of stroke and other age-related neurodegenerative diseases.
    Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 07/2008; 325(3):782-90. · 3.89 Impact Factor
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    Virginia M Miller, Sue P Duckles
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    ABSTRACT: The impact of estrogen exposure in preventing or treating cardiovascular disease is controversial. But it is clear that estrogen has important effects on vascular physiology and pathophysiology, with potential therapeutic implications. Therefore, the goal of this review is to summarize, using an integrated approach, current knowledge of the vascular effects of estrogen, both in humans and in experimental animals. Aspects of estrogen synthesis and receptors, as well as general mechanisms of estrogenic action are reviewed with an emphasis on issues particularly relevant to the vascular system. Recent understanding of the impact of estrogen on mitochondrial function suggests that the longer lifespan of women compared with men may depend in part on the ability of estrogen to decrease production of reactive oxygen species in mitochondria. Mechanisms by which estrogen increases endothelial vasodilator function, promotes angiogenesis, and modulates autonomic function are summarized. Key aspects of the relevant pathophysiology of inflammation, atherosclerosis, stroke, migraine, and thrombosis are reviewed concerning current knowledge of estrogenic effects. A number of emerging concepts are addressed throughout. These include the importance of estrogenic formulation and route of administration and the impact of genetic polymorphisms, either in estrogen receptors or in enzymes responsible for estrogen metabolism, on responsiveness to hormone treatment. The importance of local metabolism of estrogenic precursors and the impact of timing for initiation of treatment and its duration are also considered. Although consensus opinions are emphasized, controversial views are presented to stimulate future research.
    Pharmacological reviews 07/2008; 60(2):210-41. · 17.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tissues from males can be regulated by a balance of androgenic and estrogenic effects because of local metabolism of testosterone and expression of relevant steroid hormone receptors. As a critical first step to understanding sex hormone influences in the cerebral circulation of males, we investigated the presence of enzymes that metabolize testosterone to active products and their respective receptors. We found that cerebral blood vessels from male rats express 5alpha-reductase type 2 and aromatase, enzymes responsible for conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and 17beta-estradiol, respectively. Protein levels of these enzymes, however, were not modulated by long-term in vivo hormone treatment. We also showed the presence of receptors for both androgens (AR) and estrogens (ER) from male cerebral vessels. Western blot analysis showed bands corresponding to the full-length AR (110 kDa) and ERalpha (66 kDa). Long-term in vivo treatment of orchiectomized rats with testosterone or DHT, but not estrogen, increased AR levels in cerebral vessels. In contrast, ERalpha protein levels were increased after in vivo treatment with estrogen but not testosterone. Fluorescent immunostaining revealed ERalpha, AR, and 5alpha-reductase type 2 in both the endothelial and smooth muscle layers of cerebral arteries, whereas aromatase staining was solely localized to the endothelium. Thus, cerebral vessels from males are target tissues for both androgens and estrogen. Furthermore, local metabolism of testosterone might balance opposing androgenic and estrogenic influences on cerebrovascular as well as brain function in males.
    Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism 12/2007; 27(11):1841-52. · 5.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mitochondria are a major source of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative stress, key contributors to aging and neurodegenerative disorders. We report that gonadal hormones influence brain mitochondrial ROS production in both females and males. Initial experiments showed that estrogen decreases mitochondrial superoxide production in a receptor-mediated manner, as measured by MitoSOX fluorescence in differentiated PC-12 cells. We then assessed in vivo effects of gonadal hormones on brain mitochondrial oxidative stress in female and male rats. Brain mitochondria were isolated to measure a functional indicator of ROS, i.e., activity of the ROS-sensitive mitochondrial enzyme, aconitase. Gonadectomy of both males and females caused a decrease in aconitase activity, suggesting that endogenous gonadal hormones influence mitochondrial ROS production in the brain. In vivo treatment of gonadectomized animals with testosterone or dihydrotestosterone (DHT) had no effect, but estrogen replacement significantly increased aconitase activity in brain mitochondria from both female and male rats. This indicates that estrogen decreases brain mitochondrial ROS production in vivo. Sex hormone treatments did not affect protein levels of brain mitochondrial uncoupling proteins (UCP-2, 4, and 5). However, estrogen did increase the activity, but not the levels, of manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), the mitochondrial enzyme that catalyzes superoxide radical breakdown, in brain mitochondria from both female and male rats. Thus, in contrast to the lack of effect of androgens on mitochondrial ROS, estrogen suppression of mitochondrial oxidative stress may influence neurological disease incidence and progression in both females and males.
    Brain research 11/2007; 1176:71-81. · 2.46 Impact Factor
  • Sue Piper Duckles
    Molecular Interventions 09/2007; 7(4):183-9. · 6.48 Impact Factor
  • Sue P Duckles, Diana N Krause
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    ABSTRACT: 1. Cerebral vessels express oestrogen receptors (ER) in both the smooth muscle and endothelial cell layers of cerebral blood vessels. Levels of ERalpha are higher in female rats chronically exposed to oestrogen, either endogenous or exogenous. 2. Chronic exposure to oestrogen, either endogenous (normally cycling females) or exogenous (ovariectomized with oestrogen replacement), results in cerebral arteries that are more dilated than arteries from ovariectomized counterparts when studied in vitro. This effect is primarily mediated by an increase in the production of vasodilator factors, including nitric oxide (NO) and prostacylin. In contrast, oestrogen appears to suppress the production of endothelial-derived hyperpolarizing factor. Oestrogen treatment increases cerebrovascular levels of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), cyclo-oxygenase (COX)-1 and prostacyclin synthase. In addition, via activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt pathway, both acute and chronic oestrogen exposure increases eNOS phosphorylation, increasing NO production. 3. Oestrogen receptors have also been localized to cerebrovascular mitochondria and exposure to oestrogen increases the efficiency of energy production while simultaneously reducing mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species. Oestrogen increases the production of mitochondrial proteins encoded by both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, including cytochrome c, subunits I and IV of complex IV and Mn-superoxide dismutase. Oestrogen treatment increases the activity of citrate synthase and complex IV and decreases mitochondrial production of H(2)O(2). 4. Oestrogen also has potent anti-inflammatory effects in the cerebral circulation that may have important implications for the incidence and severity of cerebrovascular disease. Administration of lipopolysaccharide or interleukin-1beta to ovariectomized female rats induces cerebrovascular COX-2 and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) protein expression and increases prostaglandin E(2) expression. Levels of COX-2 and iNOS expression vary with the stage of the oestrous cycle, and the cerebrovascular inflammatory response is suppressed in ovariectomized animals treated with oestrogen. Interleukin-1beta induction of COX-2 protein is prevented by treatment with a nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB inhibitor, and oestrogen treatment reduces cerebrovascular NF-kappaB activity. 5. Cerebrovascular dysfunction and pathology contribute to the pathogenesis of stroke, brain trauma, oedema and dementias, such as Alzheimer's disease. A better understanding of the action of oestrogen on cerebrovascular function holds promise for the development of new therapeutic entities that could be useful in preventing or treating a wide variety of cerebrovascular diseases.
    Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology 09/2007; 34(8):801-8. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In young adult females, estrogen treatment suppresses the cerebrovascular inflammatory response; this is mediated in part via NF-kappaB, a key regulator of inflammatory genes. To examine whether age modifies effects of estrogen on vascular inflammation in the brain, female rats, 3 and 12 mo of age, were ovariectomized; half were treated with estrogen for 4 wk. Cerebral blood vessels were isolated from the animals at 4 and 13 mo of age. Inflammation was induced by LPS, either injected in vivo or incubated with isolated vessels ex vivo. Basal levels of cytoplasmic NF-kappaB were significantly higher in cerebral vessels of young rats, but the ratio of nuclear to cytoplasmic levels was greater in middle-aged animals. LPS exposure increased nuclear NF-kappaB DNA binding activity, protein levels of inducible nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase-2, and production of nitric oxide and PGE(2) in cerebral vessels. All effects of LPS were markedly greater in vessels from the older animals. Estrogen significantly inhibited the LPS-induced increase in NF-kappaB DNA binding activity in cerebral vessels from animals at both ages. In 4-mo-old rats, estrogen also significantly suppressed LPS induction of inducible nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase-2 proteins, as well as production of nitric oxide and PGE(2). In contrast, in 13-mo-old females, estrogen did not significantly affect these indexes of cerebrovascular inflammation. Thus the protective, anti-inflammatory effect of estrogen on cerebral blood vessels that is observed in young adults may be attenuated in aged animals, which exhibit a greater overall cerebrovascular response to inflammatory stimuli.
    AJP Heart and Circulatory Physiology 06/2007; 292(5):H2333-40. · 4.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The cerebral vasculature is a target tissue for sex steroid hormones. Estrogens, androgens, and progestins all influence the function and pathophysiology of the cerebral circulation. Estrogen decreases cerebral vascular tone and increases cerebral blood flow by enhancing endothelial-derived nitric oxide and prostacyclin pathways. Testosterone has opposite effects, increasing cerebral artery tone. Cerebrovascular inflammation is suppressed by estrogen but increased by testosterone and progesterone. Evidence suggests that sex steroids also modulate blood-brain barrier permeability. Estrogen has important protective effects on cerebral endothelial cells by increasing mitochondrial efficiency, decreasing free radical production, promoting cell survival, and stimulating angiogenesis. Although much has been learned regarding hormonal effects on brain blood vessels, most studies involve young, healthy animals. It is becoming apparent that hormonal effects may be modified by aging or disease states such as diabetes. Furthermore, effects of testosterone are complicated because this steroid is also converted to estrogen, systemically and possibly within the vessels themselves. Elucidating the impact of sex steroids on the cerebral vasculature is important for understanding male-female differences in stroke and conditions such as menstrual migraine and preeclampsia-related cerebral edema in pregnancy. Cerebrovascular effects of sex steroids also need to be considered in untangling current controversies regarding consequences of hormone replacement therapies and steroid abuse.
    Journal of Applied Physiology 11/2006; 101(4):1252-61. · 3.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The potential benefit of ovarian hormone replacement therapy in cerebrovascular disease is well supported by experimental observations but not by recent large, randomized clinical trials. This discrepancy points out the need for better understanding of the vascular actions of ovarian hormones as well as medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), a synthetic analog of progesterone (P) widely prescribed in combination with estrogens. Therefore, we investigated whether in vivo exposure to 17beta-estradiol (E) and/or P or MPA modifies inflammation in the cerebral vasculature, a key process in the evolution of ischemic brain injury. Female rats were injected (ip) with LPS to induce inflammation, and 6 h later brains were taken for blood vessel isolation and Western blot analysis of the inflammatory enzymes inducible NO synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). In ovariectomized (O) females, LPS induced cerebrovascular iNOS and COX-2; however, this effect was significantly decreased when O animals were treated for 3 wk with E. In contrast, treatment of O females with either MPA or P exacerbated the cerebrovascular inflammatory response to LPS. In intact females, LPS induction of iNOS and COX-2 in cerebral vessels was found to vary with the stage of the estrous cycle: LPS had the greatest effect during estrus, when circulating estrogen is low and progesterone is high. Thus exposure to endogenous or exogenous ovarian hormones appears to modulate cerebrovascular inflammation. Anti-inflammatory effects of estrogen would attenuate ischemic brain injury; however, this vasoprotective benefit may be diminished in the presence of progestagens.
    AJP Endocrinology and Metabolism 09/2006; 291(2):E261-7. · 4.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated as a cause of age-related disorders, and the mitochondrial theory of aging links aging, exercise, and diet. Endothelial dysfunction is a key paradigm for vascular disease and aging, and there is considerable evidence that exercise and dietary restriction protect against cardiovascular disease. Recent studies demonstrate that estrogen receptors are present in mitochondria and that estrogen promotes mitochondrial efficiency and decreases oxidative stress in the cerebral vasculature. Chronic estrogen treatment increases mitochondrial capacity for oxidative phosphorylation while decreasing production of reactive oxygen species. The effectiveness of estrogen against age-related cardiovascular disorders, including stroke, may thus arise in part from hormonal effects on mitochondrial function. Estrogen-mediated mitochondrial efficiency may also be a contributing factor to the longer lifespan of women.
    Molecular Interventions 03/2006; 6(1):26-35. · 6.48 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
582.83 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1986–2013
    • University of California, Irvine
      • • Department of Pharmacology
      • • Department of Medicine
      Irvine, California, United States
  • 2009
    • Peking University
      • School of Basic Medical Science
      Beijing, Beijing Shi, China
  • 2008
    • Mayo Clinic - Rochester
      Rochester, Minnesota, United States
  • 2002
    • Northwestern University
      • Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Biological Chemistry
      Evanston, IL, United States
  • 1996–2001
    • Loma Linda University
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Division of Pharmacology
      • • Division of Physiology
      Loma Linda, CA, United States
  • 2000
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • Department of Medicine
      Baltimore, MD, United States
  • 1996–1997
    • Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
      • Departamento de Fisiología
      Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  • 1980–1987
    • The University of Arizona
      • • Department of Pharmacology
      • • College of Medicine
      Tucson, Arizona, United States
    • University of California, Los Angeles
      • Department of Pharmacology
      Los Angeles, California, United States
  • 1985
    • University of Michigan
      • College of Pharmacy
      Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States