MSU researchers hone in on stress-causing compound.
EAST LANSING, Mich. — While recent studies have shown long-term exposure to estrogen can be a danger to women – overturning physicians’ long-held beliefs that the hormone was good for their patients’ hearts – the process by which estrogen induces high blood pressure was unclear.
In a new study, Michigan State University researchers found long-term estrogen exposure generates excessive levels of the compound superoxide, which causes stress in the body. The buildup of this compound occurs in an area of the brain that is crucial to regulating blood pressure, suggesting that the estrogen-induced buildup causes increased blood pressure.
Findings indicated that the anti-oxidant resveratrol reverses the increase in both superoxide and blood pressure.
The study, led by P.S. MohanKumar, an associate professor of pathobiology and diagnostic investigation in the College of Veterinary Medicine, appears in the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Physiology. The journal is published by the American Physiological Society.