Effects of estradiol on renal cyclic guanosine monophosphate and oxidative stress in spontaneously hypertensive rats

Jennifer C. Sullivan, Jennifer L. Pardieck, Krystal Brinson, Kyu Tae Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Evidence suggests that estradiol offers protection against the development of cardiovascular and renal pathologies, although the mechanisms involved are still under investigation. The nitric oxide (NO) pathway regulates blood pressure and kidney function, and estradiol is associated with increases in NO bioavailability. We hypothesized that in female spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs), estra-diol increases NO bioavailability, activates the NO synthase (NOS) pathway, and suppresses superoxide production compared with rats that underwent ovariectomy (OVX). Objective: The goal of this study was to determine whether estradiol regulates the NO/cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) pathway and superoxide levels in the kidneys of female SHR. Methods: Three types of SHRs were studied: gonad-intact females, OVX rats, and OVX rats with estra-diol replacement (OVX+E). Renal cortical cGMP levels were measured to assess NO bioavailability. NOS enzymatic activity, NOS protein expression, basal superoxide production, and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase activity were measured in the renal cortex. Results: Fifty-six SHRs were included in the study (17 intact females, 21 OVX rats, 18 OVX+E rats). Mean (SEM) cGMP levels were significantly lower in the renal cortex of OVX rats (0.03 [0.008] pmol/mg, n = 5) than in intact females (0.1 [0.02] pmol/mg, n = 6; P < 0.05), and estradiol restored cGMP levels to those seen in intact females (0.1 [0.01] pmol/mg, n = 5; P < 0.05). Despite a decrease in cGMP following OVX, renal cortical NOS activity, NOS1 and NOS3 protein expression, and the phosphorylation status of NOS3 were comparable among the 3 groups (n = 7-9 per group). However, mean basal superoxide production in the renal cortex was higher in OVX rats (3.2 [0.3] cpm/mg, n = 12) than in intact females (1.9 [0.3] cpm/mg, n = 8; P < 0.05) and lower in OVX+E rats (1.3 [0.3] cpm/mg, n = 9; P < 0.05). Mean NADPH oxidase activity was comparable in the renal cortex of intact females and OVX rats (81 [4] and 83 [12] cpm/35 μg, respectively [n = 5 per group]). OVX+E rats had significantly lower mean renal cortical NADPH oxidase activity than did rats in the other groups (45 [6] cpm/35 μg, n = 6; P < 0.05), and the decrease in activity was accompanied by a decrease in p22phox protein expression. Conclusions: In vivo manipulations of estradiol levels influenced renal cortical NO bioavailability, as assessed indirectly by cGMP measurements. The decrease in cGMP following OVX was not due to alterations in the activity or expression of NOS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)498-510
Number of pages13
JournalGender Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • NADPH oxidase
  • NOS
  • hypertension
  • kidney

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of estradiol on renal cyclic guanosine monophosphate and oxidative stress in spontaneously hypertensive rats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this