Epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) are cardioprotective mediators metabolized by soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) to form corresponding diols (DHETs). As a sex-susceptible target, sEH is involved in the sexually dimorphic regulation of cardiovascular function. Thus, we hypothesized that the female sex favors EET-mediated potentiation of cardiac function via downregulation of sEH expression, followed by upregulation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs). Hearts were isolated from male (M) and female (F) wild-type (WT) and sEH-KO mice, and perfused with constant flow at different preloads. Basal coronary flow required to maintain the perfusion pressure at 100 mmHg was significantly greater in females than males, and sEH-KO than WT mice. All hearts displayed a dose-dependent decrease in coronary resistance and increase in cardiac contractility, represented as developed tension in response to increases in preload. These responses were also significantly greater in females than males, and sEH-KO than WT 14,15-EEZE abolished the sex-induced (F vs. M) and transgenic model-dependent (KO vs. WT) differences in the cardiac contractility, confirming an EET-driven response. Compared with M-WT controls, F-WT hearts expressed downregulation of sEH, associated with increased EETs and reduced DHETs, a pattern comparable to that observed in sEH-KO hearts. Coincidentally, F-WT and sEH-KO hearts exhibited increased PPARα expression, but comparable expression of eNOS, PPARβ, and EET synthases. In conclusion, female-specific downregulation of sEH initiates an EET-dependent adaptation of cardiac function, characterized by increased coronary flow via reduction in vascular resistance, and promotion of cardiac contractility, a response that could be further intensified by PPARα.
Qin, J., Le, Y., Froogh, G., Kandhi, S., Jiang, H., Luo, M., . . . Huang, A. (2016). Sexually dimorphic adaptation of cardiac function: Roles of epoxyeicosatrienoic acid and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors. Physiological Reports, 4(12), e12838. doi:10.14814/phy2.12838