Sex steroids and the endothelium

H. William Schnaper*, John McGuire, Constance Runyan, Susan C. Hubchak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Gonadal steroids clearly influence the course of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in women. This observation has suggested that these hormones have beneficial effects on the physiology of the vascular wall. Increased arterial vascular caliber after estrogen treatment, decreased lipid levels in subjects receiving hormone replacement therapy, and the markedly decreased extent of atherosclerotic plaque formation in young women as compared with young men support a cardioprotective effect of ovarian steroids. Generally, it appears that the effects of 17β-estradiol are particularly beneficial, and the mechanism of action is targeted largely to the endothelial cell. This review describes the evidence for positive effects of estrogens on endothelial cell biology and considers potential mechanisms for estrogen actions on endothelial cell signal transduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-531
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry


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