Shokoufeh Mahmoodzadeh, Joachim Leber, Xiang Zhang, Frédéric Jaisser, Smail Messaoudi, Ingo Morano, Priscilla A Furth, Elke Dworatzek and Vera Regitz- Zagrosek
Experimental studies showed that 17β-estradiol (E2) and activated Estrogen Receptors (ER) protect the heart from ischemic injury. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are not well understood. To investigate the role of ER-alpha (ERα) in cardiomyocytes in the setting of myocardial ischemia, we generated transgenic mice with cardiomyocyte-specific overexpression of ERα (ERα-OE) and subjected them to Myocardial Infarction (MI). At the basal level, female and male ERα-OE mice showed increased Left Ventricular (LV) mass, LV volume and cardiomyocyte length. Two weeks after MI, LV volume was significantly increased and LV wall thickness decreased in female and male WT-mice and male ERα-OE, but not in female ERα-OE mice. ERα-OE enhanced expression of angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis markers (Vegf, Lyve-1), and neovascularization in the peri-infarct area in both sexes. However, attenuated level of fibrosis and higher phosphorylation of JNK signaling pathway could be detected only in female ERα-OE after MI. In conclusion, our study indicates that ERα protects female mouse cardiomyocytes from the sequelae of ischemia through induction of neovascularization in a paracrine fashion and impaired fibrosis, which together may contribute to the attenuation of cardiac remodelling.