Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How estrogen could help protect women from cardiovascular disease

Date:
August 11, 2011
Source:
Queen Mary, University of London
Summary:
The sex hormone estrogen could help protect women from cardiovascular disease by keeping the body's immune system in check, new research has revealed. The study has shown that the female sex hormone works on white blood cells to stop them from sticking to the insides of blood vessels, a process which can lead to dangerous blockages.

The sex hormone estrogen could help protect women from cardiovascular disease by keeping the body's immune system in check, new research from Queen Mary, University of London has revealed.

Related Articles


The study has shown that the female sex hormone works on white blood cells to stop them from sticking to the insides of blood vessels, a process which can lead to dangerous blockages.

The results could help explain why cardiovascular disease rates tend to be higher in men and why they soar in women after the menopause.

The researchers compared white blood cells from men and pre-menopausal women blood donors. They found that cells from premenopausal women have much higher levels of protein called annexin-A1 on the surface of their white blood cells.

The scientists also found that annexin-A1 and estrogen levels were strongly linked throughout the menstrual cycle.

White blood cells play a vital role in protecting the body from infections. When they are activated they stick to the walls of blood vessels. This process normally helps the cells to tackle infection but if it happens too much, it can lead to blood vessel damage, which in turn can lead to cardiovascular disease. However, when annexin-A1 is on the surface of these white blood cells, it prevents them from sticking to the blood vessel wall.

The new research shows that estrogen can move annexin-A1 from inside the white blood cell, where it is normally stored, to the surface of the cells, thereby preventing the cells from sticking to blood vessel walls and causing vascular damage. This may have important implications in cardiovascular disease.

Dr Suchita Nadkarni from the William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary, University of London, who led the research, said: "We've known for a long time that estrogen protects pre-menopausal women from heart disease, but we don't know exactly why. This study brings us a step closer to understanding how natural estrogen might help protect our blood vessels.

"We've shown a clear relationship between estrogen levels and the behaviour of these white blood cells. Our results suggest that estrogen helps maintain the delicate balance between fighting infections, and protecting arteries from damage that can lead to cardiovascular disease.

"Understanding how the body fights heart disease naturally is vital for developing new treatments."

The study was co-funded by the British Heart Foundation, the Wellcome Trust and the National Institutes of Health Research (NIHR).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen Mary, University of London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Suchita Nadkarni, Dianne Cooper, Vincenzo Brancaleone, Stefania Bena, and Mauro Perretti. Activation of the Annexin A1 Pathway Underlies the Protective Effects Exerted by Estrogen in Polymorphonuclear Leukocytes. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol, August 11 2011 DOI: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.111.235176

Cite This Page:

Queen Mary, University of London. "How estrogen could help protect women from cardiovascular disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110811181716.htm>.
Queen Mary, University of London. (2011, August 11). How estrogen could help protect women from cardiovascular disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110811181716.htm
Queen Mary, University of London. "How estrogen could help protect women from cardiovascular disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110811181716.htm (accessed March 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rehab Robot Helps Restore Damaged Muscles and Nerves

Rehab Robot Helps Restore Damaged Muscles and Nerves

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 1, 2015) A rehabilitation robot prototype to help restore deteriorated nerves and muscles using electromyography and computer games. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 27, 2015) A dongle that plugs into a Smartphone mimics a lab-based blood test for HIV and syphilis and can detect the diseases in 15 minutes, say researchers. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) An Italian doctor is saying he could stick someone&apos;s head onto someone else&apos;s body. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) reports. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

Newsy (Feb. 27, 2015) A new study from researchers at New York University suggests dentists could soon use blood samples taken from patients&apos; mouths to test for diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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