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Hypertension. 2010 May;55(5):1275-82. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.109.144949. Epub 2010 Mar 15.

Sex chromosome effects unmasked in angiotensin II-induced hypertension.

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Department of Medicine, Center for the Study of Sex Differences in Health, Aging, and Disease, Georgetown University, 4000 Reservoir Rd, NW, Washington, DC 20057, USA.


Sex differences in mean arterial pressure (MAP) are reported in many experimental models of hypertension and are ascribed to gonadal sex based on studies showing that gonadectomy and gonadal hormone replacement affect MAP. The interpretation of these studies, however, has been confounded by differences in the sex chromosome complement (XX versus XY). To investigate the sex chromosome complement independent of gonadal sex, we used the 4 core genotype mouse model in which gonadal sex is separated from the sex chromosome complement enabling comparisons among XX and XY females and XX and XY males. We found that, in the gonadectomized (GDX) 4 core genotype, MAP after 2 weeks of angiotensin II infusion (200 ng/kg per minute) was greater in XX than XY (MAP [in millimeters of mercury]: GDX-XX-female, 148+/-4.5; GDX-XY-female, 133+/-4.4; GDX-XX-male, 149+/-9.4; GDX-XY-male, 138+/-5.5; P<0.03, XX versus XY; n=8 to 9 per group). In contrast, no sex chromosome effects were found on heart rate, body weight, or plasma angiotensin II 2 weeks after angiotensin II infusion. This study suggests that, in addition to effects of gonadal hormones on blood pressure, X- or Y-linked genes, parental imprinting, or X mosaicism contributes to sex differences in hypertension. Furthermore, the finding that MAP was greater in XX mice compared with XY mice in the GDX state suggests that adverse sex chromosome effects encoded within the XX sex chromosome complement could contribute to hypertension in women with ovarian hormone deficiency, such as postmenopausal women and women with premature ovarian failure.

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