A sex-specific role for androgens in angiogenesis

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Experimental Medicine, 2010, 207 (2), pp. 345 - 352
Issue Date:
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Mounting evidence suggests that in men, serum levels of testosterone are negatively correlated to cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. We studied the role of androgens in angiogenesis, a process critical in cardiovascular repair/regeneration, in males and females. Androgen exposure augmented key angiogenic events in vitro. Strikingly, this occurred in male but not female endothelial cells (ECs). Androgen receptor (AR) antagonism or gene knockdown abrogated these effects in male ECs. Overexpression of AR in female ECs conferred androgen sensitivity with respect to angiogenesis. In vivo, castration dramatically reduced neovascularization of Matrigel plugs. Androgen treatment fully reversed this effect in male mice but had no effect in female mice. Furthermore, orchidectomy impaired blood-flow recovery from hindlimb ischemia, a finding rescued by androgen treatment. Our findings suggest that endogenous androgens modulate angiogenesis in a sex-dependent manner, with implications for the role of androgen replacement in men. © 2010 Sieveking et al.
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