Importance of Estrogen Metabolites
See related article, pp 134–140
The influence of estrogen on blood pressure is complicated and sometimes contradictory. Premenopausal women have a lower incidence of hypertension, but recent clinical trials suggest that postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy does not necessarily decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. Sexually dimorphic hypertension is evident in multiple animal models, yet only some indicate a critical role for estrogen.1 These contradictions emphasize the importance of identifying the critical molecular signaling pathways in the cardiovascular system that are activated by estrogen and pursuing alternative pathways for their activation. One important factor that has been neglected in the study of estrogen’s cardiovascular effects is the conversion of 17-β-estradiol, the most commonly studied ovarian estrogen, to metabolites that are capable of exerting discrete physiological effects (Figure).
In this issue of Hypertension, Jennings et al2 …