Estradiol metabolites attenuate renal and cardiovascular injury induced by chronic nitric oxide synthase inhibition

Stevan P Tofovic, Eman M Salah, Raghvendra K Dubey, Mona F Melhem, Edwin K Jackson
Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology 2005, 46 (1): 25-35
Our previous studies in rodent models of nephropathy demonstrate that 2-hydroxyestradiol (2HE), an estradiol metabolite with little estrogenic activity, exerts renoprotective effects. In vivo, 2HE is readily converted to 2-methoxyestradiol (2ME), a major estradiol metabolite with no estrogenic activity. The goal of this study was to determine whether 2ME has renal and cardiovascular protective effects in vivo. First, the acute (90 minutes) and chronic (14 days) effects of 2ME (10 microg/kg/h) on blood pressure and renal function were examined in normotensive and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Second, a rat model of cardiovascular and renal injury induced by chronic nitric oxide synthase inhibition (N-nitro-L-arginine; 40 mg/kg/d; LNNA group) was used to examine the protective effects of estradiol metabolites. Subsets of LNNA-treated rats were administered either 2HE or 2ME (10 microg/kg/h via osmotic minipump; LNNA+2ME and LNNA+2HE groups, respectively. 2-Methoxyestradiol had no acute or chronic effects on blood pressure or renal function in normotensive animals or on hypertension in SHR. Prolonged, 5-week NOS inhibition induced severe cardiovascular and renal disease and high mortality (75%, LNNA group). 2ME, but not 2HE, significantly decreased elevated blood pressure and attenuated the reduction in GFR. 2HE delayed the onset of proteinuria, whereas no proteinuria was detected in the 2-ME group. 2HE and 2ME reduced mortality rate by 66% and 83%, respectively (P < 0.001). In the kidney, 2HE and 2ME abolished LNNA-induced interstitial and glomerular inflammation, attenuated glomerular collagen IV synthesis, and inhibited glomerular and tubular cell proliferation. In the heart, 2HE and 2ME markedly reduced vascular and interstitial inflammation and reduced collagen synthesis and vascular/interstitial cell proliferation. This study provides the first evidence that, in a model of severe cardiovascular and renal injury, 2-methoxyestradiol (a major nonestrogenic estradiol metabolite) exerts renal and cardiovascular protective effects and reduces mortality.

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