While hormone replacement therapy greatly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women, the mechanisms underlying the reduction in risk are only partly understood. This study examines the effects of hormone replacement therapy on adrenergic physiology which plays a major role in cardiovascular regulation. The investigators will study 75 postmenopausal women randomly divided into three groups, an estrogen replacement therapy group, an estrogen combined with progesterone replacement therapy group, and a placebo group. All subjects will be studied twice, prior to and after a 12 week treatment period. Lymphocyte beta (2)-and platelet alpha (a)-adrenergic receptors and plasma catecholamines, and blood pressure, heart rate and hemodynamic responses at rest and in response to behavioral stress will be determined. Blood pressure and heart rate will also be determined in the ambulatory setting. Pressor sensitivity and barroreflex sensitivity will be determined via phenylephrine infusion, beta-adrenergic receptor sensitivity will be determined by isoproterenol infusion, and norepinephrine release and clearance rates will be determined via [3H]-norepinephrine infusion. The project will help elucidate the complex effects of estrogen and progesterone therapy on adrenergic regulation of the cardiovascular system in postmenopausal women.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
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Behavioral Medicine Study Section (BEM)
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University of California San Diego
Schools of Medicine
La Jolla
United States
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von Känel, Roland (2015) Acute mental stress and hemostasis: When physiology becomes vascular harm. Thromb Res 135 Suppl 1:S52-5
Farag, Noha H; Matthews, Scott C; Brzezinski, Eva et al. (2004) Relationship between central obesity and cardiovascular hemodynamic indices in postmenopausal women. Fertil Steril 81:465-7
Hong, Suzi; Farag, Noha H; Nelesen, Richard A et al. (2004) Effects of regular exercise on lymphocyte subsets and CD62L after psychological vs. physical stress. J Psychosom Res 56:363-70
Farag, Noha H; Bardwell, Wayne A; Nelesen, Richard A et al. (2003) Autonomic responses to psychological stress: the influence of menopausal status. Ann Behav Med 26:134-8
Mills, Paul J; Farag, Noha H; Matthews, Scott et al. (2003) Hormone replacement therapy does not affect 24-h ambulatory blood pressure in healthy non-smoking postmenopausal women. Blood Press Monit 8:57-61
Farag, Noha H; Mahata, Manjula; Ziegler, Michael G et al. (2003) Hormone replacement therapy increases renal kallikrein excretion in healthy postmenopausal women. Life Sci 72:1279-88
von Kanel, Roland; Dimsdale, Joel E; Adler, Karen A et al. (2003) Effects of nonspecific beta-adrenergic stimulation and blockade on blood coagulation in hypertension. J Appl Physiol 94:1455-9
Farag, Noha H; Barshop, Bruce A; Mills, Paul J (2003) Effects of estrogen and psychological stress on plasma homocysteine levels. Fertil Steril 79:256-60
Mills, Paul J; Farag, Noha H; Hong, Suzi et al. (2003) Immune cell CD62L and CD11a expression in response to a psychological stressor in human hypertension. Brain Behav Immun 17:260-7
Nemet, Dan; Hong, Suzi; Mills, Paul J et al. (2002) Systemic vs. local cytokine and leukocyte responses to unilateral wrist flexion exercise. J Appl Physiol 93:546-54

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