[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inflammation is a key element in many cardiovascular diseases. Both estrogen loss, caused by menopause, and aging have inflammatory consequences. Epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) are anti-inflammatory molecules synthesized by various cytochrome P450 (Cyp) enzymes from arachidonic acid. EETs are in the third (Cytochrome P450) pathway of arachindonic acid metabolism, others being cyclooxygenases and lipoxygenases. We hypothesized that aging and estrogen loss would reduce levels of anti-inflammatory EETs. Adult (6 mo) and aged (22 mo) ovariectomized rats with (OP) and without (Ovx) 17-∃-estradiol replacement were used in this study. Mass spectrometry was used to measure levels of EETs and their metabolites, dihydroxyeicosatrienoic acids (DHETs). Levels of Cyp2C2, Cyp2C6, and Cyp2J2, the principal Cyps responsible for EETs synthesis, as well as soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH), which metabolizes EETS to DHETs, were determined via western blot. Overall Cyp levels decreased with age, though Cyp2C6 increased in the liver. sEH was increased in the kidney with estrogen replacement. Despite protein changes, no differences were measured in plasma or aortic tissue levels of EETs. However, plasma 14,15 DHET was increased in aged Ovx, and 5,6 DHET in adult OP. In conclusion neither aging nor estrogen loss decreased the anti-inflammatory EETs in the cardiovascular system.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite an abundance of evidence to the contrary from animal studies, large clinical trials on humans have shown that estrogen administered to postmenopausal women increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, timing may be everything, as estrogen is often administered immediately after ovariectomy (Ovx) in animal studies, while estrogen administration in human studies occurred many years postmenopause. This study investigates the discrepancy by administering 17β-estradiol (E2) in a slow-release capsule to Norway Brown rats both immediately following Ovx and 9 wk post-Ovx (Late), and studying differences in gene expression between these two groups compared with age-matched Ovx and sham-operated animals. Two different types of microarray were used to analyze the left ventricles from these groups: an Affymetrix array (n = 3/group) and an inflammatory cytokines and receptors PCR array (n = 4/group). Key genes were analyzed by Western blotting. Ovx without replacement led to an increase in caspase 3, caspase 9, calpain 2, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)9, and TNF-α. Caspase 6, STAT3, and CD11b increased in the Late group, while tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 2, MMP14, and collagen I α1 were decreased. MADD and fibronectin were increased in both Ovx and Late. TNF-α and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) protein levels increased with Late replacement. Many of these changes were prevented by early E2 replacement. These findings suggest that increased expression of inflammatory genes, such as TNF-α and iNOS, may be involved in some of the deleterious effects of delayed E2 administration seen in human studies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Estrogen is a powerful hormone with pleiotropic effects. Estrogens have potent antioxidant effects and are able to reduce inflammation, induce vasorelaxation and alter gene expression in both the vasculature and the heart. Estrogen treatment of cultured cardiac myocytes and endothelial cells rapidly activates NFkappaB, induces heat-shock protein (HSP)-72, a potent intracellular protective protein, and protects cells from simulated ischemia. In in vivo models, estrogens protect against ischemia and trauma/hemorrhage. Estrogens may decrease the expression of soluble epoxide hydrolase, which has deleterious effects on the cardiovascular system through metabolism of epoxyeicosatrienoic acids. Natural (endogenous) estrogens in premenopausal women appear to protect against cardiovascular disease and yet controlled clinical trials have not indicated a benefit from estrogen replacement postmenopause. Much remains to be understood in regards to the many properties of this powerful hormone and how changes in this hormone interact with aging-associated changes. The unexpected negative results of trials of estrogen replacement postmenopause probably arise from our lack of understanding of the many effects of this hormone.
No preview · Article · Feb 2009 · Future Cardiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine if progesterone modulates object and spatial memory consolidation in young ovariectomized C57BL/6 mice. Object memory was tested in an object recognition task using 24- and 48-h delays. Spatial memory was tested in a 2-day version of the Morris water maze in which retention was tested 24 or 48 h after training. Immediately after training in each task, mice received a single intraperitoneal injection of vehicle or 5, 10, or 20mg/kg water-soluble progesterone. Mice were then tested 24 or 48 h later in the absence of circulating progesterone. Post-training injections of 10 and 20mg/kg progesterone enhanced object recognition, but not memory in the spatial water maze. These findings suggest that object memory consolidation in young female mice is more sensitive to the modulatory effects of progesterone than spatial memory consolidation, at least using the tasks, doses, and delays tested. As such, these findings may have important implications for the design of progesterone therapies intended to reduce age-related memory decline.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2009 · Behavioural Brain Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous studies have demonstrated that treatment with 17beta-estradiol (E(2)) improves both spatial and nonspatial memory in young female mice. Still unclear, however, are the molecular mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of E(2) on memory. We have previously demonstrated that a single post-training intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of 0.2 mg/kg E(2) can enhance hippocampal-dependent spatial and object memory consolidation (e.g., Gresack & Frick, 2006b). Therefore, in the present study, we performed a microarray analysis on the dorsal hippocampi of 4-month-old female mice injected i.p. with vehicle or 0.2 mg/kg E(2). Genes were considered differentially expressed following E(2) treatment if they showed a greater than 2-fold change in RNA expression levels compared to controls. Overall, out of a total of approximately 25,000 genes represented on the array, 204 genes showed altered mRNA expression levels upon E(2) treatment, with 111 up-regulated and 93 down-regulated. Of these, 17 of the up-regulated and 6 of the down-regulated genes are known to be involved in learning and memory. mRNA expression changes in 5 of the genes were confirmed by real-time quantitative PCR analysis, and protein changes in these same genes were confirmed by Western blot analysis: Hsp70, a heat shock protein known to be estrogen responsive; Igfbp2, an IGF-I binding protein; Actn4, an actin binding protein involved in protein trafficking; Tubb2a, the major component of microtubules; and Snap25, a synaptosome-specific protein required for neurotransmitter release. The types of genes altered indicate that E(2) may induce changes in the structural mechanics of cells within the dorsal hippocampus that could be conducive to promoting memory consolidation.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2008 · Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway is critical for various forms of learning and memory, and is activated by the potent estrogen 17beta-estradiol (E(2)). Here, we asked whether E(2) modulates memory via ERK activation and putative membrane-bound estrogen receptors (ERs). Using ovariectomized mice, we first demonstrate that intraperitoneal injection of 0.2 mg/kg E(2) significantly increases dorsal hippocampal levels of phosphorylated ERK protein 1 h after injection. Second, we show that E(2) administered intraperitoneally (0.2 mg/kg) or via intrahippocampal infusion (5.0 microg/side) immediately after training in an object recognition task significantly enhances memory retention, and that the beneficial effect of intraperitoneal E(2) is blocked by dorsal hippocampal inhibition of ERK activation. Third, using bovine serum albumin-conjugated 17beta-estradiol (BSA-E(2)), we demonstrate that E(2) binding at membrane-bound ERs can increase dorsal hippocampal ERK activation and enhance object memory consolidation in an ERK-dependent manner. Fourth, we show that this effect is independent of nuclear ERs, but is dependent on the dorsal hippocampus. By demonstrating that E(2) enhances memory consolidation via dorsal hippocampal ERK activation, this study is the first to identify a specific molecular pathway by which E(2) modulates memory and to demonstrate a novel role for membrane-bound ERs in mediating E(2)-induced improvements in hippocampal memory consolidation.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2008 · The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Changes in the oxidant/antioxidant environment of aging Leydig cells have been shown to be correlated with the reduced ability of these cells to produce testosterone. With this in mind, we hypothesized that the experimental depletion of glutathione (GSH), an abundant Leydig cell intracellular antioxidant, might result in reduced testosterone production. Incubation of Leydig cells isolated from the testes of adult Brown Norway rats with buthionine sulfoximine (BSO) reduced GSH content by more than 70% and testosterone production by about 40%. The antioxidants vitamin E, N-tert-butyl-alpha-phenylnitrone and Trolox countered BSO's effect on steroidogenesis but not on GSH depletion. Together, BSO and glutathione ethyl ester maintained intracellular GSH and also testosterone production, whereas 1,2-dithiole-3-thione, which increases intracellular GSH, increased testosterone production. In vivo studies also were conducted. Young (4 month old) and old (24 month old) rats were injected with BSO twice a day for 7 d, after which Leydig cells were isolated and analyzed in vitro. BSO treatment reduced Leydig cell GSH content by 70% and the ability of the Leydig cells to produce testosterone by more than 50%. As with aging, decreases were seen in LH-stimulated cAMP production, steroidogenic acute regulatory protein, cholesterol side-chain cleavage, 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, and 17alpha-hydroxylase/17,20-lyase. The results of these studies, taken together, are consistent with the hypothesis that alteration in the oxidant/antioxidant environment may play a significant, causative role in the age-related reduced ability of Leydig cells to produce testosterone.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Spontaneous age-dependent epithelial cell hyperplasia occurs in the lateral and dorsal, but not the ventral, lobes of aging Brown Norway (BN) rats. Diminished antioxidant enzyme activities and increased formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) promote the pathology of many aging disorders. We investigated the hypothesis that prostatic epithelial cell hyperplasia in the BN rat was related to age-dependent and/or lobe-specific changes in superoxide dismutase (SOD).
Using Western blots, immunohistochemistry and enzyme activity assays we determined the levels of protein expression, subcellular localization, and activities, respectively, of the three SOD isoforms, cytoplasmic SOD1, mitochondrial SOD2, and extracellular SOD3 in the ventral, lateral, and dorsal prostate lobes of 4-month-old rats with normal prostate morphology, in 24-month-old rats with lobe-specific hyperplasia and in older 30-month-old rats.
We observed little change in SOD activities as a function of age, although expression of SOD3 increased in the prostatic lobes of older rats. SOD2 levels were higher in the lateral lobe of 4- and 24-month-old rats, but declined by 30 months of age to levels in the ventral and dorsal lobes. SOD1 was localized by immunohistochemistry to the nuclei of epithelial cells in all lobes, but the number of immunopositive nuclei increased in the lateral and dorsal lobes of 24-month-old animals. The concentration of zinc was highest in the prostate lobes of 24-month-old animals.
Based upon our data, superoxide dismutase is not significantly altered in the rat prostate during aging and thus is unlikely to be an important factor in the evolution of epithelial cell hyperplasia.