G-Protein-Coupled Estrogen Receptor Expression in Rat Uterine Artery Is Increased by Pregnancy and Induces Dilation in a Ca2+ and ERK1/2 Dependent Manner

Teresa Tropea, Damiano Rigiracciolo, Milena Esposito, Marcello Maggiolini, Maurizio Mandalà

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Increasing levels of estrogens across gestation are partly responsible for the physiological adaptations of the maternal vasculature to pregnancy. The G protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER) mediates acute vasorelaxing effects in the uterine vasculature, which may contribute to the regulation of uteroplacental blood flow. The aim of this study was to investigate whether GPER expression and vasorelaxation may occur following pregnancy. Elucidation of the functional signalling involved was also investigated. Radial uterine and third-order mesenteric arteries were isolated from non-pregnant (NP) and pregnant rats (P). GPER mRNA levels were determined and-concentration-response curve to the GPER-specific agonist, G1 (10-10-10-6 M), was assessed in arteries pre-constricted with phenylephrine. In uterine arteries, GPER mRNA expression was significantly increased and vasorelaxation to G1 was significantly enhanced in P compared with NP rats. Meanwhile, in mesenteric arteries, there was a similar order of magnitude in NP and P rats. Inhibition of L-type calcium channels and extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 significantly reduced vasorelaxation triggered by G1 in uterine arteries. Increased GPER expression and GPER-mediated vasorelaxation are associated with the advancement of gestation in uterine arteries. The modulation of GPER is exclusive to uterine arteries, thus suggesting a physiological contribution of GPER toward the regulation of uteroplacental blood flow during pregnancy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number23115996
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume23
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2022

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