Cycling matters: Sex hormone regulation of vascular potassium channels

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Sex hormones and the reproductive cycle (estrus in rodents and menstrual in humans) have a known impact on arterial function. In spite of this, sex hormones and the estrus/menstrual cycle are often neglected experimental factors in vascular basic preclinical scientific research. Recent research by our own laboratory indicates that cyclical changes in serum concentrations of sex -hormones across the rat estrus cycle, primary estradiol, have significant consequences for the subcellular trafficking and function of KV. Vascular potassium channels, including KV, are essential components of vascular reactivity. Our study represents a small part of a growing field of literature aimed at determining the role of sex hormones in regulating arterial ion channel function. This review covers key findings describing the current understanding of sex hormone regulation of vascular potassium channels, with a focus on KV channels. Further, we highlight areas of research where the estrus cycle should be considered in future studies to determine the consequences of physiological oscillations in concentrations of sex hormones on vascular potassium channel function.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2217637
Issue number1
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2023

    Research areas

  • estrogens, estrus cycle, ion channels, progesterone, testosterone, vascular biology

ID: 353704211