Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cholesterol byproduct blocks heart health benefits of estrogen

18.09.2007
New findings by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers show that a byproduct of cholesterol metabolism interferes with the beneficial effects estrogen has on the cardiovascular system, providing a better understanding of the interplay between cholesterol and estrogen in heart disease.

The results of the study, available online and in the October issue of the journal Nature Medicine, also may explain why hormone replacement therapy fails to protect some postmenopausal women from heart disease, said Dr. David Mangelsdorf, chairman of pharmacology and senior author of the paper.

The researchers found that in rodents, a molecule called 27-hydroxycholesterol, or 27HC, binds to the same receptors in the blood vessels of the heart to which estrogen binds.

The normal result of this estrogen binding is that blood vessel walls remain elastic and dilated, and damage to the vasculature is repaired, among other heart-protective effects. Other research has shown that postmenopausal women – who no longer produce estrogen – lose this protective action and become more susceptible to heart disease.

Based on their animal studies and other experiments, the UT Southwestern researchers determined that when estrogen levels dropped relative to the amount of 27HC circulating in the blood, 27HC reacted and bound to the estrogen receptors in the cardiovascular system and blocked their protective function, primarily by inhibiting the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide mediates smooth muscle relaxation in blood vessels, aids cell growth and repair, and prevents thrombosis. Reduced levels of nitric oxide in blood vessels has been linked with high cholesterol and diabetes.

In animals fed a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet, both cholesterol and 27HC levels were elevated.

“We found that 27HC can effectively inhibit estrogen function in vascular tissue by binding to estrogen receptors,” said Dr. Mangelsdorf, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at UT Southwestern. “This study not only illustrates the damaging effects high cholesterol has on the heart but also supports the notion that the relative levels of 27HC and estrogen in the vasculature are contributing factors to the risk for cardiovascular disease.”

In normal premenopausal women, the amount of 27HC generated from cholesterol is relatively low compared to the level of estrogen circulating in the blood, leading to enhanced cardiovascular protection. In contrast, when the level of 27HC is higher relative to estrogen, such as during the postmenopausal period or as a consequence of high cholesterol, the researchers speculate that 27HC out-competes estrogen to bind with estrogen receptors, blocking the function of the receptors and resulting in a loss of protection.

“This model may help explain why women are better protected than men from cardiovascular disease until they reach menopause,” said Dr. Mangelsdorf.

The findings also may help explain why a large clinical trial that evaluated certain hormone replacement therapies (HRT) in postmenopausal women – a component of the 15-year Women’s Health Initiative – had to be halted in 2002 when the hormones appeared to increase a woman’s risk of heart disease.

“In the Women’s Health Initiative research program, the women who began taking HRT were an average of 13 years postmenopause,” Dr. Manglesdorf said. “By the time they started taking this estrogen again, the damage caused by 27HC binding to the estrogen receptors in the cardiovascular system may already have occurred. Once you lose estrogen’s protection for such an extended period of time, you can’t get it back.”

The researchers also found that 27HC works predominantly on estrogen receptors in the cardiovascular system. When it binds to estrogen receptors in other tissues, such as reproductive tissues, it has no effect on their reproduction-related functions. This property of 27HC makes it a “selective estrogen receptor modulator,” or SERM, the first such naturally occurring molecule known to exhibit such selectivity.

“This molecule is remarkable in its selectivity for the vasculature,” Dr. Mangelsdorf said. “These findings also validate the estrogen receptor as a possible drug target for manufactured SERMs.”

Amanda Siegfried | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utsouthwestern.edu
http://www.utsouthwestern.edu/receivenews

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

nachricht Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>