An In Vivo Estrogen Deficiency Mouse Model for Screening Exogenous Estrogen Treatments of Cardiovascular Dysfunction After Menopause

This article has been accepted and is currently in production


Postmenopausal women are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular diseases than premenopausal women. Female mice ovariectomized (OVX) at weaning display increased atherosclerotic lesions in the aorta compared with female mice with intact ovarian function. However, laboratory models involving estrogen-deficient mice with atherosclerosis-prone status are lacking. This deficit is crucial because clinical estrogen deficiency in menopausal women may aggravate the incidence of pre-existing or ongoing lipid disruption and atherosclerosis. In this study, we establish an in vivo estrogen-deficient mouse model by bilateral ovariectomy via a double dorsal-lateral incision in apolipoprotein E (apoE)-/- mice. We then compare the effects of 17β-estradiol and pseudoprotodioscin (PPD) (a phytoestrogen) perorally administered via hazelnut spread. We find that although PPD exerts some effect on reducing final body weight and plasma TG in OVX apoE-/- mice, it has anti-atherosclerotic and cardiac-protective capacities comparable with its 17β-estradiol counterpart. PPD is a phytoestrogen that has been reported to exert anti-tumor properties. Thus, the proposed method is applicable for screening phytoestrogens via peroral administration to substitute for traditional hormone replacement therapy in postmenopausal women, which has been reported to have potentially deleterious tumorigenetic capacity. Peroral administration via hazelnut spread is noninvasive, rendering it widely applicable to many patients. This article contains step-by-step demonstrations of bilateral ovariectomy via the double dorsal-lateral incision in apoE-/- mice and peroral 17β-estradiol or phytoestrogen hormone replacement via hazelnut spread. Plasma lipid and cardiovascular function analyses using echocardiography follow.