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Toth, Bettina; Scholz, Christoph; Ochsenkühn, Robert; Schulze, Sandra; Kuhn, Christina; Friese, Klaus; Jeschke, Udo (2009): Effects of Progesterone and Its Antagonist Mifepristone on Progesterone Receptor A Expression in Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells. In: Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation, Nr. 4: S. 269-274


Effects of female steroid hormones on endothelial cells are gaining increased importance due to several studies on the effects of hormonal treatment on cardiovascular risk. Recent data argue for an improvement of endothelium-derived relaxation and impaired vascular contraction by estradiol, whereas progesterone and testosterone might entail contrary effects. So far, gestagenic influence on endothelial cell physiology is poorly understood. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) exposed to the female sex hormones estradiol and progesterone show expression of estrogen receptor-beta (ER beta) and progesterone receptor A (PR-A), and are negative for ER alpha and PR-B. The aim of this study was to analyze the expression and stimulation of PR-A and -B in HUVECs after stimulation with progesterone and PR antagonists that are commercially available. PR-B expression or upregulation was abrogated after application of progesterone or antagonists to HUVECs. Expression of PR-A could be significantly upregulated with progesterone and mifepristone. Unexpectedly, stimulation with the progesterone antagonist RU486 (mifepristone) was accomplished by an upregulation of PR-A expression in our study. We conclude that gestagenic effects on HUVECs independent of modulators are mediated via the PR-A. Copyright (C) 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel