Using 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide as a model of menopause for cardiovascular disease.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

There is a sharp rise in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and progression with the onset of menopause. The 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide (VCD) model of menopause recapitulates the natural, physiological transition through perimenopause to menopause. We hypothesized that menopausal female mice were more susceptible to CVD than pre- or perimenopausal females. Female mice were treated with VCD or vehicle for 20 consecutive days. Premenopausal, perimenopausal, and menopausal mice were administered angiotensin II (ANG II) or subjected to ischemia-reperfusion (I/R). Menopausal females were more susceptible to pathological ANG II-induced cardiac remodeling and cardiac injury from a myocardial infarction (MI), while perimenopausal, like premenopausal, females remained protected. Specifically, ANG II significantly elevated diastolic (130.9 ± 6.0 vs. 114.7 ± 6.2 mmHg) and systolic (156.9 ± 4.8 vs. 141.7 ± 5.0 mmHg) blood pressure and normalized cardiac mass (15.9 ± 1.0 vs. 7.7 ± 1.5%) to a greater extent in menopausal females compared with controls, whereas perimenopausal females demonstrated a similar elevation of diastolic (93.7 ± 2.9 vs. 100.5 ± 4.1 mmHg) and systolic (155.9 ± 7.3 vs. 152.3 ± 6.5 mmHg) blood pressure and normalized cardiac mass (8.3 ± 2.1 vs. 7.5 ± 1.4%) compared with controls. Similarly, menopausal females demonstrated a threefold increase in fibrosis measured by Picrosirus red staining. Finally, hearts of menopausal females (41 ± 5%) showed larger infarct sizes following I/R injury than perimenopausal (18.0 ± 5.6%) and premenopausal (16.2 ± 3.3, 20.1 ± 4.8%) groups. Using the VCD model of menopause, we provide evidence that menopausal females were more susceptible to pathological cardiac remodeling. We suggest that the VCD model of menopause may be critical to better elucidate cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the transition to CVD susceptibility in menopausal women.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Before menopause, women are protected against cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared with age-matched men; this protection is gradually lost after menopause. We present the first evidence that demonstrates menopausal females are more susceptible to pathological cardiac remodeling while perimenopausal and cycling females are not. The VCD model permits appropriate examination of how increased susceptibility to the pathological process of cardiac remodeling accelerates from pre- to perimenopause to menopause.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Konhilas, JP; Sanchez, JN; Regan, JA; Constantopoulos, E; Lopez-Pier, M; Cannon, DK; Skaria, R; McKee, LA; Chen, H; Lipovka, Y; Pollow, D; Brooks, HL

Published Date

  • June 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 318 / 6

Start / End Page

  • H1461 - H1473

PubMed ID

  • 32383991

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7311698

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1522-1539

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0363-6135

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1152/ajpheart.00555.2019


  • eng