Estrogen Normalizes Perinatal Nicotine–Induced Hypertensive Responses in Adult Female Rat Offspring
Perinatal nicotine exposure caused a sex-dependent heightened vascular response to angiotensin II (Ang II) and increased blood pressure in adult male but not in female rat offspring. The present study tested the hypothesis that estrogen normalizes perinatal nicotine–induced hypertensive response to Ang II in female offspring. Nicotine was administered to pregnant rats via subcutaneous osmotic minipumps from day 4 of gestation to day 10 after birth. Ovariectomy and 17β-estradiol replacement were performed on 8-week-old female offspring. At 5 months of age, Ang II–induced blood pressure responses were not changed by nicotine treatment in the sham groups. In contrast, nicotine significantly enhanced Ang II–induced blood pressure responses as compared with saline control in the ovariectomy groups, which was associated with increased Ang II–induced vascular contractions. These heightened responses were abrogated by 17β-estradiol replacement. In addition, nicotine enhanced Ang II receptor type I, NADPH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate) oxidase type 2 protein expressions, and reactive oxygen species production of aortas as compared with saline control in the ovariectomy groups. Antioxidative agents, both apocynin and tempol, inhibited Ang II–induced vascular contraction and eliminated the differences of contractions between nicotine-treated and control ovariectomy rats. These findings support a key role of estrogen in the sex difference of perinatal nicotine–induced programming of vascular dysfunction, and suggest that estrogen may counteract heightened reactive oxygen species production, leading to protection of females from development programming of hypertensive phenotype in adulthood.
- Received February 4, 2013.
- Revision received March 6, 2013.
- Accepted March 6, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.