Open Access

Sex differences in endothelial function of aged hypertriglyceridemic rats – effect of atorvastatin treatment


The aim of the study was to test the hypothesis that the effect of atorvastatin on endothelium-dependent relaxation of the superior mesenteric artery (SMA) may differ in male vs. female aged hypertriglyceridemic rats (HTGs). Experiments were performed on 11-month-old male and female Prague hereditary HTGs. Atorvastatin (ATO) was administered p.o. in the dose of 0.30 mg/100g/day.

Controls received vehiculum. After two months of ATO administration blood pressure, serum triglycerides (TG) and total cholesterol (CHOL) were determined. Endothelial function of SMA was studied in vitro using evaluation of relaxant responses of precontracted SMA to acetylcholine. The serum TG of control male HTGs were found to be statistically higher than those of female controls, while CHOL and blood pressure did not share gender differences. Responses of SMA of female control HTGs were statistically decreased compared to their male counterparts. ATO treatment induced decrease in blood pressure and TG of both males and females, yet CHOL values were reduced only in females. The protective effect of ATO on SMA endothelial function was much more pronounced in females compared to males.

We conclude that vascular endothelial dysfunction of aged HTG rats is more severe and more attenuated by ATO in females compared to males. The protective effect of ATO on vascular endothelial function does not seem to depend solely on its lipid lowering action.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Medicine, Clinical Medicine, Pharmacology, Toxicology