Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Estrogen's Antioxidant Power May Play Key Role In Cerebral Blood Vessel Health

Date:
August 29, 2005
Source:
University of California - Irvine
Summary:
Estrogen's role as an inhibitor of toxic-free radicals in cerebral blood vessels may be a key reason why premenopausal women have a lower stroke risk than men.

Estrogen’s role as an inhibitor of toxic-free radicals incerebral blood vessels may be a key reason why premenopausal women havea lower stroke risk than men.

According to UC Irvine School ofMedicine researchers, estrogen has a powerful and positive influence onwomen’s health by increasing the energy production efficiency ofmitochondria – the tiny power plants that provide cells the energy theyneed to function. And in doing so, the hormone inhibits themitochondrial production of free radical oxygen molecules. Previousstudies have shown that excessive amounts of these radical elements inthe body, through a process called oxidative stress, can damage bloodvessels and lead to stroke or degenerative disease.

In the UCIstudy, Dr. Vincent Procaccio of the Center for Molecular andMitochondrial Medicine and Genetics and colleagues discovered estrogenreceptors in vascular mitochondrial cells. To see how mitochondriafunctioned with deficient estrogen levels, they removed the ovariesfrom test rats, which suppressed any hormone influence, and identifieda significant increase in radical oxygen molecule levels and a declinein the capacity for mitochondria to produce energy. In rats treatedwith doses of estrogen, however, vascular mitochondria produced energymore efficiently with lower amounts of damaging free radicals.

“Wewant to find out more how estrogen can protect blood vessels in thebrain,” said Procaccio, also an assistant professor of pediatrics. “Andwhen we gain a fuller understanding, we hopefully can figure out howbest to realize potential benefits of hormone replacement therapies.Also, learning the mechanisms by which estrogen is beneficial to braincirculation may give us new ideas about how to protect against stroke.”

Spurredby recent findings of the Women’s Health Initiative, there is growingdebate over the effects of estrogen and the risk of cardiovasculardisease and stroke. While women aged 30 to 50 have about five timesless risk of stroke than men, this difference disappears when womenreach menopause. Research studies show that estrogen protects animalsfrom experimental stroke, but recent clinical trials with certainhormone replacement therapies in older women did not show protectionfrom stroke.

Study results appear on the online version ofMolecular Pharmacology. Chris Stirone, Sue P. Duckles and Diana N.Krause of the UCI Department of Pharmacology assisted with the study.The National Institutes of Health provided support.

About mitochondria
Mitochondriaare the power plants of cells responsible for burning the calories inour diet with the oxygen that we breathe to generate carbon dioxide,water and the energy for our cells. The cellular energy is used for twopurposes, to generate heat to maintain our body temperature and tosynthesize ATP (adenosine triphosphate), a chemical form of energywhich permits us to do work such as exercise, think, write, and makeand repair cells and tissues.

When the mitochondria burn ourdietary fuel, they also generate a toxic by-product called oxygenradicals, the mitochondrial equivalent to the smoke generated bycoal-burning power plants. Oxygen radicals, in turn, damage themitochondria and the surrounding cell. When sufficient oxidative damageaccumulates in the mitochondria and the cell, the cell dies. Hence, thechronic level of mitochondrial oxidative stress is believed to helpdetermine an individuals aging rate and susceptibility to a variety ofdiseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, memory loss,forms of deafness and vision loss.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Irvine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Irvine. "Estrogen's Antioxidant Power May Play Key Role In Cerebral Blood Vessel Health." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050827120540.htm>.
University of California - Irvine. (2005, August 29). Estrogen's Antioxidant Power May Play Key Role In Cerebral Blood Vessel Health. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050827120540.htm
University of California - Irvine. "Estrogen's Antioxidant Power May Play Key Role In Cerebral Blood Vessel Health." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050827120540.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins