, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 141–150 | Cite as

Sex hormones and vascular reactivity

  • S. J. Hutchison
  • K. Sudhir
  • T. M. Chou
  • K. Chatterjee
Coronary Atherosclerosis


It is increasingly recognized that sex steroids have, among many other effects, the ability to cause vasodilation. The vasodilatory effects of estradiol have been the best documented and described. At low concentrations, estradiol has the ability to improve impaired endothelium dependent (nitric oxide mediated) relaxation in estrogen deficient subjects. At high concentrations, estradiol causes vasodilation principally by endothelium independent mechanisms, in a gender independent fashion, which appear to involve a number of pathways such as ATP-dependent K+ channels. Testosterone also has ability, at higher doses, to cause vasodilation of the coronary circulation, in a gender independent fashion. The mechanisms of sex steroid-induced vasodilation are reviewed in this article.

Key Words

Vasodilation Estradiol Testosterone Coronary circulation 

Vaskuläre Wirkungen weiblicher Geschlechtshormone


Sexualhormone haben neben anderen Wirkungen auch die Fähigkeit, Gefäße zu dilatieren. Der vasodilatatorische Effekt von Östradiol ist am besten dokumentiert und beschrieben worden. In niedrigen Konzentrationen verbessert Östradiol die verminderte endothelabhängige (NO-vermittelte) Gefäßdilatation bei Patienten mit Östrogenmangel. In hohen Konzentrationen verursacht Östradiol eine Vasodilatation über einen endothelunabhängigen Mechanismus, der geschlechtsunabhängig ist und verschiedene Wege, unter anderem die ATP-abhängigen Kalziumkanäle, benutzt. Testosteron hat ebenfalls in hoher Dosis die Fähigkeit zu einer Vasodilatation, besonders der Koronargefäße. Auch dieser Effekt ist geschlechtsunabhängig. Der genaue Mechanismus der Vasodilatation, der durch die Sexualhormone induziert wird, wird in dieser Arbeit beschrieben.


Vasodilatation Östradiol Testosteron Koronargefäße 


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Copyright information

© Urban & Vogel 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. J. Hutchison
    • 1
  • K. Sudhir
    • 1
  • T. M. Chou
    • 1
  • K. Chatterjee
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of CardiologyUniversity of CaliforniaSan Fransisco

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