Effect of puberty on coronary arteries from female pigs

Ritu Chatrath, Karen L. Ronningen, Peter LaBreche, Sandra R. Severson, Muthuvel Jayachandran, Margarita P. Bracamonte, Virginia M. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Vascular function changes following loss of ovarian hormones in women at menopause and in experimental animals following surgical ovariectomy. Little is known about changes in vascular function during hormonal transition from sexual immaturity (juvenile) to sexual maturity. Therefore, experiments were designed to determine effects of natural puberty on vascular function in female pigs. Tissue was studied from eight juvenile (2-3 mo) and eight adult (5-6 mo) female pigs. Plasma nitric oxide (NO) was measured, and mRNA for endothelium-derived NO synthase (eNOS) and eNOS protein were determined in aortic endothelial cells. Rings of coronary arteries were suspended for measurement of isometric force in organ chambers. Serum 17β-estradiol levels were comparable in the two groups, whereas the arithmetic mean of progesterone levels was about two-thirds lower in adults compared with juvenile pigs. Plasma NO was significantly higher in juveniles compared with adults, but mRNA and protein for eNOS were comparable. In coronary arteries, an α2-adrenergic agonist caused greater endothelium-dependent relaxations in rings from juvenile compared with adult pigs. Relaxations to bradykinin were similar in arteries from both groups, but inhibition of NO reduced relaxations only in arteries from juvenile pigs. Relaxations from NO were greater in arteries from adult compared with juvenile female pigs. In conclusion, coronary arterial endothelial and smooth muscle responses are selectively modulated at puberty in female pigs. At maturity, plasma NO is reduced and sensitivity of the smooth muscle to exogenous NO is increased. Posttranscriptional regulation of eNOS protein may explain differences in NO bioavailability in juvenile pigs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1672-1680
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003


  • Bradykinin
  • C-type natriuretic peptide
  • Endothelin-1
  • Estrogen
  • Nitric oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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