Testosterone and sympathetic nerve activity during pregnancy

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Letter to the Editor

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To the Editor:

I read with great interest the article by Chinnathambi et al1 that examined the influence of testosterone on the endothelial nitric oxide (NO) system. The role of testosterone in gestational cardiovascular function has not been adequately examined, despite the fact that testosterone levels are exaggerated in preeclamptic and polycystic ovary syndrome pregnancies. Chinnathambi et al1 used a well-controlled experimental model in which pregnant rats were injected with vehicle or testosterone propionate, with the goal of increasing plasma testosterone to mimic levels observed during preeclampsia. The authors report that increased testosterone was associated with elevated blood pressure and blunted NO-mediated vasodilation. This novel study provides critical mechanistic insight and a potential therapeutic target during gestational hypertension.

Publisher's Statement

© 2013 American Heart Association, Inc. Publisher's version of record: https://dx.doi.org/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.113.01193

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