Role of Sex Hormones and Their Receptors on Gastric Nrf2 and Neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase Function in an Experimental Hyperglycemia Model
Background: Gastroparesis, a condition of abnormal gastric emptying, is most commonly observed in diabetic women. To date, the role of ovarian hormones and/or gastric hormone receptors on regulating nitrergic-mediated gastric motility remains inconclusive. Aim: The purpose of this study is to investigate whether sex hormones/their receptors can attenuate altered Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2), neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase (nNOS) expression and nitrergic relaxation in
... c neuromuscular tissues exposed to in-vitro hyperglycemia (HG). Methods: Gastric neuromuscular sections from adult female C57BL/6J mice were incubated in normoglycemic (NG, 5mM) or hyperglycemic (30 mM or 50 mM) conditions in the presence or absence of selective estrogen receptor (ER) agonists (ERα /PPT or ERβ: DPN); or non-selective sex hormone receptor antagonists (ER/ICI 182,780, or progesterone receptor (PR)/ RU486) for 48 hours. mRNA, protein expression and nitrergic relaxation of circular gastric neuromuscular strips were assessed. Results: Our findings in HG, compared to NG, demonstrate a significant reduction in ER, Nrf2, and nNOS expression in gastric specimens. In addition, in-vitro treatment with sex hormones and/or their agonists significantly (*p<0.05) restored Nrf2/nNOSα expression and total nitrite production. Conversely, ER, but not PR, antagonist significantly reduced Nrf2/nNOSα expression and nitrergic relaxation. Conclusions: Our data suggest that ER's can regulate nitrergic function by improving Nrf2/nNOS expression in experimental hyperglycemia.