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Effects of ovariectomy and 17β-oestradiol replacement on [Ca2+]i in female rat cardiac myocytes

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Summary

1. The present study investigated the effects of ovariectomy (OVX) and 17β-oestradiol replacement on [Ca2+]i in rat freshly isolated cardiac myocytes.

2. Myocytes were isolated from the hearts of sham, OVX and OVX + 17β-oestradiol-replaced female rats by enzymatic digestion with collagenase. Changes in [Ca2+]i in response to varied extracellular [Ca2+] were measured using the Ca2+-sensitive dye fura-2, with the contractile responses of each cell measured as cell shortening.

3. Increasing extracellular [Ca2+] resulted in increased [Ca2+]i in all three groups. Peak [Ca2+]i and the amplitude of the Ca2+ transient were significantly greater (P < 0.01) in cells from OVX animals compared with cells from both sham and 17β-oestradiol-replaced OVX animals.

4. The time-course of decay of the Ca2+ transient was significantly faster (P < 0.02) in OVX cells compared with both sham and 17β-oestradiol-replaced cells. In addition, time to 50% relaxation was significantly faster (P < 0.04) and extent of shortening significantly greater (P < 0.01) in OVX cells than in either sham or 17β-oestradiol cells.

5. These data demonstrate clear differences in peak [Ca2+]i and the amplitude of the Ca2+ transient between OVX female rat cardiac myocytes compared with intact and 17β-oestradiol-replaced OVX female rat cardiac myocytes. This suggests that oestrogen may play a long-term role in limiting Ca2+ entry into the cardiac myocyte.
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Keywords: calcium; cardiac myocytes; gender; oestrogen; ovariectomy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Physiology, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Publication date: July 1, 2003

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