Effects of estrogen on platelet reactivity after transient forebrain ischemia in rats

Marguerite T. Littleton-Kearney, Jessica M. Gaines, Kevin P. Callahan, Stephanie J. Murphy, Patricia D. Hurn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Estrogen's prothrombotic effects are of increasing concern, particularly in stroke risk and recovery. Using an ischemic rodent model, the authors sought to determine (a) if estrogen replacement increases postischemic platelet reactivity, (b) if changes in estrogen status alter intraplatelet endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) synthesis, and (c) if estrogen-mediated effects on platelets alter cerebral blood flow during reperfusion. Intact (I), ovariectomized (OVX), and OVX + 17 -estradiol (E50) rats were subjected to 30 min of forebrain ischemia and 60 min of reperfusion. Using the platelet activation marker P-selectin, postischemic platelet reactivity was quantified by flow cytometry. In a separate cohort (I, OVX, E50), the authors quantified platelet eNOS by Western blot. Another cohort (OVX, E50) was subjected to ischemia/reperfusion, and cerebral blood flow was determined using the iodoantipyrine technique. Collagen-stimulated platelet P-selectin expression was increased in the OVX rats at 60 min of reperfusion, and this effect was reversed by estrogen treatment. No differences in platelet eNOS expression were detected among groups. Cerebral blood flow at 60 min reperfusion was comparable between the OVX and the E50 rats. The authors conclude that during reper-fusion, estrogen deficiency increases postischemic platelet sensitivity to stimuli in estrogen-deficient rats. Estrogen treatment mitigates effects of estrogen loss on platelets, but this early effect is apparently not caused by intraplatelet eNOS depression. Neither estrogen deficiency nor estrogen treatment changes early postischemic regional brain blood flow. In this rodent global cerebral ischemic model, physiologic doses of estrogen are not deleterious to platelet reactivity and may initially reduce postischemic platelet reactivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-145
Number of pages11
JournalBiological Research For Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Estrogen
  • Forebrain ischemia
  • Hormones
  • P-selectin
  • Platelets
  • eNOS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Research and Theory


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