Endogenous testosterone increases L-type Ca2+ channel expression in porcine coronary smooth muscle. Academic Article uri icon


  • Evidence indicates that gender and sex hormonal status influence cardiovascular physiology and pathophysiology. We recently demonstrated increased L-type voltage-gated Ca2+ current (ICa,L) in coronary arterial smooth muscle (CASM) of male compared with female swine. The promoter region of the L-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channel (VGCC) (Cav1.2) gene contains a hormone response element that is activated by testosterone. Thus the purpose of the present study was to determine whether endogenous testosterone regulates CASM ICa,L through regulation of VGCC expression and activity. Sexually mature male and female Yucatan swine (7-8 mo; 35-45 kg) were obtained from the breeder. Males were left intact (IM, n=8), castrated (CM, n=8), or castrated with testosterone replacement (CMT, n=8; 10 mg/day Androgel). Females remained gonad intact (n=8). In right coronary arteries, both Cav1.2 mRNA and protein were greater in IM compared with intact females. Cav1.2 mRNA and protein were reduced in CM compared with IM and restored in CMT. In isolated CASM, both peak and steady-state ICa were reduced in CM compared with IM and restored in CMT. In males, a linear relationship was found between serum testosterone levels and ICa. In vitro, both testosterone and the nonaromatizable androgen, dihydrotestosterone, increased Cav1.2 expression. Furthermore, this effect was blocked by the androgen receptor antagonist cyproterone. We conclude that endogenous testosterone is a primary regulator of Cav1.2 expression and activity in coronary arteries of males.

published proceedings

  • Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol

author list (cited authors)

  • Bowles, D. K., Maddali, K. K., Ganjam, V. K., Rubin, L. J., Tharp, D. L., Turk, J. R., & Heaps, C. L.

citation count

  • 48

complete list of authors

  • Bowles, DK||Maddali, KK||Ganjam, VK||Rubin, LJ||Tharp, DL||Turk, JR||Heaps, CL

publication date

  • November 2004