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Jéssyca Aparecida Soares Giesen, Wender do Nascimento Rouver, Eduardo Damasceno Costa, Virgínia Soares Lemos, and Roger Lyrio dos Santos

Progesterone seems to play a role in cardiovascular physiology since its receptors are expressed on endothelial cells from both sexes of mammals. However, little is known about its role on the coronary circulation. Thus, this study aims to evaluate the effect of acute administration of progesterone on the coronary bed and the endothelial pathways involved in this action in normotensive rats of both sexes. A dose–response curve of progesterone (1–50 μmol/L) in isolated hearts using the Langendorff preparation was performed. Baseline coronary perfusion pressure (CPP) was determined, and the vasoactive effect of progesterone was evaluated before and after infusion with Nω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), indomethacin, catalase, and Tiron. The analysis of nitric oxide (NO) and superoxide anion (O2 · ) was performed by DAF-2DA and DHE, respectively. Female group showed higher CPP. Nevertheless, progesterone promoted a similar relaxing response in both sexes. The use of L-NAME increased vasodilatory response in both sexes. When indomethacin was used, only the males showed a reduced relaxing response, and in the combined inhibition with L-NAME, indomethacin, and catalase, or with the use of Tiron, only the females presented reduced responses. NO and O2 ·− production has increased in female group, while the male group has increased only NO production. Our results suggest that progesterone is able to modulate vascular reactivity in coronary vascular bed with a vasodilatory response in both sexes. These effects seem to be, at least in part, mediated by different endothelial pathways, involving NO and EDH pathways in females and NO and prostanoids pathways in males.

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Juan Carlos Arapa-Diaz, Wender do Nascimento Rouver, Jéssyca Aparecida Soares Giesen, Marcela Daruge Grando, Lusiane Maria Bendhack, and Roger Lyrio dos Santos

Physiological or supraphysiological levels of testosterone appear to be associated with the development of risk factors for cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, as this hormone modulates the release of endothelial factors. However, its actions are still controversial, especially in the coronary circulation of hypertensive animals. This study was designed to assess the effects of testosterone treatment (T) on endothelium-dependent coronary vascular reactivity in orchiectomized SHR. The animals were divided into SHAM, orchiectomized (ORX), ORX+T and ORX+T+aromatase inhibitor (AI). All treatments lasted 15 days. Blood pressure (BP) was measured. Dose–response curves to bradykinin (BK) were constructed using the Langendorff technique, followed by inhibition of endothelium mediators (NO, prostanoids, EETs) and potassium channels. The intensity of eNOS, COX-1, COX-2, Akt, and gp91phox protein expression was quantified by Western blotting. BP was elevated in SHAM, ORX+T, and ORX+T+AI groups. However, we did not observe differences in the ORX group. Baseline coronary perfusion pressure (CPP) remained unaffected. Orchiectomy did not change the BK-induced relaxation compared to the SHAM group, whereas testosterone treatment increased it. This response was diminished in the absence of NO, prostanoids, and EETs in the SHAM and ORX groups, while in ORX+T group the relaxation was diminished only in the absence of NO and EETs. There was no difference in eNOS, COX-1, COX-2, and gp91phox protein expression, though Akt expression was increased in ORX and ORX+T groups. These results show that testosterone treatment can modulate endothelial function, especially in the coronary circulation under hypertension conditions, via NO and EETs pathways.

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Angelina Rafaela Debortoli, Wender do Nascimento Rouver, Nathalie Tristão Banhos Delgado, Vinicius Mengal, Erick Roberto Gonçalves Claudio, Laena Pernomian, Lusiane Maria Bendhack, Margareth Ribeiro Moysés, and Roger Lyrio dos Santos

Compared with age-matched men, premenopausal women are largely protected from coronary artery disease, a difference that is lost after menopause. The effects of oestrogens are mediated by the activation of nuclear receptors (ERα and ERβ) and by the G protein-coupled oestrogen receptor (GPER). This study aims to evaluate the potential role of GPER in coronary circulation in female and male rats. The baseline coronary perfusion pressure (CPP) and the concentration–response curve with a GPER agonist (G-1) were evaluated in isolated hearts before and after the blockade of GPER. GPER, superoxide dismutase (SOD-2), catalase and gp91phox protein expression were assessed by Western blotting. Superoxide production was evaluated ‘in situ’ via dihydroethidium fluorescence (DHE). GPER blockade significantly increased the CPP in both groups, demonstrating the modulation of coronary tone by GPER. G-1 causes relaxation of the coronary bed in a concentration-dependent manner and was significantly higher in female rats. No differences were detected in GPER, SOD-2 and catalase protein expression. However, gp91phox expression and DHE fluorescence were higher in male rats, indicating elevated superoxide production. Therefore, GPER plays an important role in modulating coronary tone and reactivity in female and male rats. The observed differences in vascular reactivity may be related to the higher superoxide production in male rats. These findings help to elucidate the role of GPER-modulating coronary circulation, providing new information to develop a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of coronary heart disease.