Differential effects of oral and transdermal menopausal hormone therapy on prostacyclin and thromboxane in platelets

Limor Raz, Larry W. Hunter, Muthuvel Jayachandran, John A. Heit, Virginia M. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Menopausal hormone therapies (MHT) may increase thrombotic risk but modulate endothelial function and reduce development of vascular lesions. This study compared effects of MHT on prostanoid-modulated adenosine triphosphate (ATP) secretion from platelets in relationship with endothelial reactive hyperemia (RH) index and carotid intima medial thickness (CIMT). Participants were healthy, recently menopausal women of the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study (KEEPS) randomized to one of three treatments: oral conjugated equine estrogen (oCEE, 0.45 mg/day), transdermal 17β-estradiol (tE2, 50 µg/day) each with intermittent oral progesterone or placebo pills and patch (PL). Prostacyclin and thromboxane A2 were assessed by quantification of their stable metabolites (6-keto-prostaglandin F1α, 6-k-PGF1α; thromboxane B2, TXB2), using ELISA. Dense granule ATP secretion from activated platelets was determined by bioluminescence; RH and CIMT were determined by fingertip tonometry and ultrasound, respectively. After 48 months of treatment, platelet content of 6-k-PGF1α and TXB2 was significantly lower in oCEE compared to the PL. Inhibition of ATP secretion by exogenous activation of cAMP associated with platelet 6-k-PGF1α (r = -0.41, P = 0.04) and TXB2 (r = 0.71, P = 0.0005) only in the oCEE group. Serum and platelet content of 6-k-PGF1α and TXB2 associated positively in the PL and tE2 groups. Serum 6- k-PGF1α positively associated with RH in the oCEE group (r = 0.73, P = 0.02), while serum TXB2 positively associated with CIMT in the tE2 group (r = 0.64, P = 0.01). Thus, oCEE and tE2 differentially affect prostanoid- mediated platelet secretory pathways but alone would not account for an increased thrombotic risk for oral MHT. Furthermore, platelet-derived prostanoids may contribute to RH and vascular remodeling in healthy menopausal women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00275
JournalPhysiological reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Endothelial function
  • Estrogen
  • Estrone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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