Modified LDL-mediated increases in endothelial layer permeability are attenuated with 17β-estradiol

Gerrie Gardner, Carole L. Banka, Kim A. Roberts, Adam E. Mullick, John C Rutledge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Current research suggests that estrogen may have primary effects on the artery wall. To investigate the mechanisms of female sex hormone actions in the artery wall, we used an isolated, perfused, rat carotid artery model to examine the effects of estradiol on the rates of accumulation of normal (N- LDL) and minimally modified (MM-LDL) low density lipoprotein in ovariectomized rats. N-LDL, MM-LDL, and oxidized LDL (OX-LDL) were fluorescently labeled and perfused into individual arteries. The rate of LDL accumulation was measured by quantitative fluorescence microscopy before and after treatment with estradiol (1 nmol/L, 272 pg/mL). Estradiol had no effect on the rate of N-LDL accumulation (45±12 versus 48±15 ng cholesterol per cm2 per h). However, estradiol significantly decreased the rate of MM-LDL (240±48 versus 160±48 ng cholesterol per cm2 per h; P<0.05) and OX-LDL (191±53 versus 112±36 ng cholesterol per cm2 per h; P<0.05) accumulation. Further experiments showed that perfusion of unlabeled MM-LDL (100 μg/mL) increased endothelial layer permeability when the rate of accumulation of a water-soluble, fluorescently labeled, reference molecule (64 000-molecular weight dextran) was determined before and after perfusion of MM-LDL (319±96 versus 510±191 ng per cm2 per h, n=6 arteries; P<0.05). Estradiol prevented the expected increase in the rate of dextran accumulation when perfused with MM-LDL (control, 415±49 ng per cm2 per h and MM-LDL+estradiol, 415±160 ng per cm2 per h). Our studies show that estradiol prevents compromise of the endothelial barrier mediated by MM-LDL and attenuates accumulation of MM-LDL in the artery wall.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)854-861
Number of pages8
JournalArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1999


  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Artery
  • Endothelium
  • Estrogen
  • LDL
  • Oxidized LDL
  • Permeability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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