Estrogen contributes to gender differences in mouse ventricular repolarization

Tomoaki Saito, Andrea Ciobotaru, Jean Chrisostome Bopassa, Ligia Toro, Enrico Stefani, Mansoureh Eghbali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Rationale: Fast-transient outward K + (I to,f) and ultrarapid delayed rectifier K + currents (I K,slow, also known as I Kur) contribute to mouse cardiac repolarization. Gender studies on these currents have reported conflicting results. Objective:: key missing information in these studies is the estral stage of the animals. We revisited gender-related differences in K + currents, taking into consideration the females' estral stage. We hypothesized that changes in estrogen levels during the estral cycle could play a role in determining the densities of K + currents underlying ventricular repolarization. Methods and results:Peak total K + current (I K,total) densities (pA/pF, at +40 mV) were much higher in males (48.6±3.0) versus females at estrus (27.2±2.3) but not at diestrus-2 (39.1±3.4). Underlying this change, Ito,f and I K,slow were lower in females at estrus versus males and diestrus-2 (I K,slow male 21.9±1.8, estrus 14.6±0.6, diestrus-2 20.3±1.4; Ito,f: male 26.8±1.9, estrus 14.9±1.6, diestrus-2 22.1±2.1). Lower I K,slow in estrus was attributable to only K,slow1 reduction, without changes in I K,slow2. Estrogen treatment of ovariectomized mice decreased IK,total (46.4±3.0 to 28.4±1.6), Ito,f (26.6±1.6 to 12.8±1.0) and I K,slow (22.2±1.6 to 17.2±1.4). Transcript levels of Kv4.3 and Kv1.5 (underlying I to,f and I K,slow, respectively) were lower in estrus versus diestrus-2 and male. In ovariectomized mice, estrogen treatment resulted in downregulation of Kv4.3 and Kv1.5 but not Kv4.2, KChIP2, or Kv2.1 transcripts. K + current reduction in high estrogenic conditions were associated with prolongation of the action potential duration and corrected QT interval. CONCLUSION:: Downregulation of Kv4.3 and Kv1.5 transcripts by estrogen are one mechanism defining gender-related differences in mouse ventricular repolarization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-352
Number of pages10
JournalCirculation research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 14 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Diestrus
  • Estrogen
  • Estrus
  • Gender
  • IK,slow
  • Ito,f
  • Kv1.5
  • Kv4.3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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