OBJECTIVES: The consequences of female sex hormone deficiency and the effects of hormone replacement therapy are controversial because individual hormones and their derivates can result in partially antagonistic activities. This intricate system involving cerebral autoregulatory mechanisms caused by ovariectomy and female sex hormone replacement was studied in rats. METHODS: The lower limit of cerebral blood flow autoregulation was determined by stepwise reduction of systemic arterial pressure while simultaneously measuring the changes of the hypothalamic blood flow (HBF) using the hydrogen gas-clearance method. RESULTS: In ovariectomized rats resting HBF decreased substantially and the threshold of cerebrovascular autoregulation decreased to 40 mm Hg. Estrogen replacement prevents the former change and shifts the latter upwards. Similarly, progestin replacement restores autoregulation to the physiological levels found in control animals, whereas it has no influence on the ovariectomy-induced reduction of resting blood flow. CONCLUSIONS: Steady-state HBF and compensatory changes of regional cerebral vascular autoregulation are altered significantly following ovariectomy. Estrogen or progestin replacement has an opposite effect on these cerebral circulatory parameters. Our observations highlight the essential role of female sex hormones in hypothalamic autoregulation during hypotensive stress.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of the Society for Gynecologic Investigation|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1 2005|
- Hypothalamic blood flow
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology