Annual Report 2002 - Cornell University
003 Selected Faculty Research

11 Revealing the role of estrogen in preventing female cardiac disease

Michael I. Kotlikoff, Biomedical Sciences, led research that explained estrogen's role in preventing cardiac hypertrophy, an early sign of heart disease, in females. Using genetically engineered mice as models to study enlarged heart muscle, researchers at Cornell and Vanderbilt University discovered how FKBP12.6—the binding protein associated with the heart's ability to pump blood—regulates the release of calcium in muscle-cell signaling. By studying male mice genetically engineered with a predisposition to an enlarged heart and female mice in which they blocked estrogen production, the researchers found that estrogen production protects "FKBP12.6 mice" from cardiac hypertrophy. The research has implications in estrogen replacement therapy for postmenopausal women, for whom studies have shown an increase in cardiomegaly, heart enlargement.

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© 2003 by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research [OVPR], Cornell University.

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