Navigation Links
Critical element that improves vascular function in postmenopausal women found
Date:2/14/2012

AURORA, Colo. Researchers studying why arteries stiffen in postmenopausal women have found a specific chemical cofactor that dramatically improves vascular function.

Kerrie Moreau, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, discovered that BH4 or tetrahydrobiopterin plays a key role in arterial health of women. BH4 is a critical cofactor of the enzyme endothelial nitric oxide synthase or eNOS. The two combine to create nitric oxide which is highly beneficial to arterial health.

"Nitric oxide causes arteries to dilate, without it they are more constricted which can lead to arterial stiffening. That stiffening can cause high blood pressure, thickening of the left ventricle and increase the risk for stroke, heart disease and dementia" said Moreau, who works in the Division of Geriatrics at CU School of Medicine. "If there is not enough BH4, the eNOS enzymatic function does not work as well and less nitric oxide is produced. That leads to an increase in free radical formation or oxidative stress. Increased oxidative stress can decrease the amount of nitric oxide and BH4, creating a vicious cycle."

The study will be published in the American Journal of Physiology Heart and Circulatory Physiology.

Moreau, the lead researcher in the study, gave BH4 to estrogen-deficient, postmenopausal women and assessed them three hours later. She found that dilation of the arteries increased while stiffness decreased. When premenopausal women were given BH4, nothing happened.

Researchers also took two groups of postmenopausal women and gave one group a placebo and the other estrogen patches. They examined the results 48 hours later and discovered those who took estrogen experienced similar effects to those given BH4 while the women who received placebos experienced no changes. When the women who were taking estrogen were also given BH4 there was no further benefit.

"That suggests estrogen may benefit arteries by maintaining BH4 levels," Moreau said. "Having adequate BH4 levels would result in increased nitric oxide and decreased free radicals, promoting vasodilatation and reducing arterial stiffness."

It has been long known that menopause has significant impacts on women's health.

"Menopause is like an accelerated aging process," Moreau said."When women hit menopause you see this dramatic decline in arterial health." Moreau's discovery of the key role BH4 plays in this process sheds more light on the decline in arterial health and why it may not be inevitable.

"As we identify the causes of the vascular health decline we can next intervene with appropriate therapeutic strategies including exercise, diet and/or hormone therapy," she said. "Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women but it is underappreciated in women who need a better understanding of cardiovascular health."


'/>"/>
Contact: David Kelly
david.kelly@ucdenver.edu
303-315-6374
University of Colorado Denver
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Satellite study reveals critical habitat and corridors for worlds rarest gorilla
2. Stealthy leprosy pathogen evades critical vitamin D-dependent immune response
3. Berkeley Lab researchers discover critical rotational motion in cells
4. Fungi-filled forests are critical for endangered orchids
5. Researchers find gene critical to sense of smell in fruit fly
6. Scripps Research Scientist wins pair of grants to study critical component of memory
7. Mutation in gene thats critical for human development linked to arrhythmia
8. Wildlife access critical to childrens health
9. In an enzyme critical for life, X-ray emission cracks mystery atom
10. Scripps research team achieves critical step to opening elusive class of compounds to drug discovery
11. NOAA designates critical habitat for black abalone
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/7/2017)... 7, 2017 Ipsidy Inc. ( ... [OTC: IDGS], ("Ipsidy" or the "Company") a provider of ... services, is pleased to announce the following changes as ... Effective January 31, 2017, Philip D. Beck ... and President.  An experienced payment industry professional and public ...
(Date:2/2/2017)... , Feb. 2, 2017  EyeLock LLC, a market ... new white paper " What You Should Know About ... of ensuring user authenticity is a growing concern. In ... of users. However, traditional authentication schemes such as username/password ... Biometric authentication offers an elegant solution to the ...
(Date:1/26/2017)... Jan. 26, 2017  Crossmatch, a leading provider of ... solution aimed at combatting fraud, waste and abuse in ... at the Action on Disaster Relief conference in ... for UN agencies and foreign assistance organizations throughout ... and abuse are a largely unacknowledged problem in the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... February 21, 2017 , ... ... -Sciences division, Treximo will pair its $200M operational capacity with its strategic ... project management in areas affecting quality and operational management. With office ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... 2017  Lexus, a returning partner of the Amgen Tour ... exclusive automobile partner of the men,s and women,s events for the ... 2017 Amgen Tour of California will mark ... the best professional cycling teams in the world racing from Northern ... Amgen Breakaway from Heart Disease TM Women,s Race ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... 21, 2017 Research and Markets has announced ... & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their ... The ... CAGR of around 12.8% over the next decade to reach approximately ... the market estimates and forecasts for all the given segments on ...
(Date:2/20/2017)... NEW YORK , Feb. 20, 2017 This ... Thousand by the following Product Types: Xylanase, Amylase, Cellulase, and ... Canada , Japan , ... Latin America , and Rest of World. ... Annual estimates and forecasts are provided for the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: