Estrogen Elicits Cytochrome P450-Mediated Flow-Induced Dilation of Arterioles in NO Deficiency: Role of PI3K-Akt Phosphorylation in Genomic Regulation

An Huang, Dong Sun, Zhiping Wu, Changdong Yan, Mairead A. Carroll, Houli Jiang, J R Falck, Gabor Kaley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations


This study investigated the mechanisms responsible for the estrogen-dependent, cytochrome P450 (CYP)-mediated dilator responses to shear stress in arterioles of NO-deficient female rats and mice. Flow-induced dilation (FID) was assessed in isolated arterioles from N G-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME)-treated male and ovariectomized female rats before and after overnight incubation with 17β-estradiol (17β-E2, 10-9 mol/L). In control conditions, prostaglandins (PGs) mediated FID, because indomethacin (INDO) abolished the responses. After incubation of the vessels with 17β-E 2, the basal tone of arterioles was significantly reduced and FID was augmented. INDO did not affect the dilation of the vessels incubated with 17β-E2. Dilations of these vessels, however, were eliminated by PPOH and miconazole, inhibitors of CYP/epoxygenase. Simultaneous incubation of the vessels with 17β-E2, plus ICI, 182,780, an estrogen receptor antagonist, or wortmannin, an inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) phosphorylation or the transcriptional inhibitor DRB, prevented the reduced arteriolar tone and the enhanced CYP-mediated FID caused by incubation of vessels with 17β-E2. Western blot analysis indicated a significantly increased phospho-Akt level in arterioles incubated with 17β-E2, compared with those without 17β-E 2. The enhanced phospho-Akt in response to 17β-E2, was localized, by immunohistochemistry, to arteriolar endothelial cells. Moreover, GC-MS analysis indicated a significantly increased production of epoxyeicosatrienoic acids, vasodilator metabolites of CYP/epoxygenase, in arterioles incubated with 17β-E2, a response that was prevented by ICI 182780 and wortmannin, respectively. Thus, estrogen, via a receptor-dependent, PI3K/Akt-mediated pathway, transcriptionally upregulates CYP activity, leading to an enhanced arteriolar response to shear stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-252
Number of pages8
JournalCirculation research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 6 2004



  • Akt
  • Cytochrome P450
  • Estradiol
  • Flow-induced dilation
  • Transcription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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