Hisakazu Ogita, Koichi Node and Masafumi Kitakaze Pages 497 - 504 ( 8 )
The cardiovascular effects of estrogen have recently become a focus of basic and clinical cardiovascular medicine because of the multiplicity of its beneficial effects. Various basic and clinical studies have revealed that estrogen has potent cardiovascular effects against ischemic or non-ischemic injury of the heart and vessels, leading to the concept that administration of estrogen may reduce cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women. Indeed, among the groups of the postmenopausal women who have a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, the hormone therapy has been associated with improved outcomes for cardiovascular events. Estrogen binds to the estrogen receptor, which is a member of the steroid hormone family of nuclear receptors and is the estrogen response element in target genes, leading to the transcriptional regulation of many genes. In addition to these genomic effects of estrogen, it has been recently reported that estrogen can have rapid “nongenomic” effects. In contrast to such data, recent clinical prevention trials in postmenopausal women treated with a combination of estrogen and progestins have not revealed any beneficial effects on cardiovascular morbidity or mortality, and estrogen itself increases the risk of endometrial and breast cancer. Under these circumstances, a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM), which exerts estrogenic agonistic or antagonistic actions on various tissues, has been recently introduced for new hormone therapy because it reduces the adverse effects of estrogen. Here, we summarize the effects of estrogen and SERM on the cardiovascular system and discuss cellular mechanisms that may be involved.
cardiovascular disease, clinical trials, estrogen, hormone replacement therapy, selective estrogen receptor modulator
Cardiovascular Division of Medicine, National Cardiovascular Center, 5-7-1 Fujishirodai Suita, Osaka565-8565, Japan.