Prevention of adverse cardiac remodeling to volume overload in female rats is the result of an estrogen-altered mast cell phenotype

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Previously, we have reported sex differences in the cardiac remodeling response to ventricular volume overload whereby male and ovariectomized (OVX) female rats develop eccentric hypertrophy, and intact (Int) female rats develop concentric hypertrophy. In males, this adverse remodeling has been attributed to an initial cascade of events involving myocardial mast cell and matrix metalloproteinase activation and extracellular collagen matrix degradation. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of female hormones on this initial cascade. Accordingly, an aortocaval fistula (Fist) was created in 7-wk-old Int and OVX rats, which, together with sham-operated (sham) controls, were studied at 1, 3, and 5 days postsurgery. In Int-Fist rats, myocardial mast cell density, collagen volume fraction, endothelin (ET)-1, stem cell factor (SCF), and TNF-α remained at control levels or were minimally elevated throughout the study period. This was not the case in the OVX-Fist group, where the initial response included significant increases in mast cell density, collagen degradation, ET-1, SCF, and TNF-α. These events in the OVX-Fist group were abolished by prefistula treatment with a mast cell stabilizer nedocromil. Of note was the observation that ET-1, TNF-α, SCF, and collagen volume fraction values for the OVX-sham group were greater than those of the Int-sham group, suggesting that the reduction of female hormones alone results in major myocardial changes. We concluded that female hormone-related cardioprotection to the volume stressed myocardium is the result of an altered mast cell phenotype and/or the prevention of mast cell activation.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)H811-7
Number of pages7
JournalThe American journal of physiology
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012


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