Gender differences affect blood flow recovery in a mouse model of hindlimb ischemia

Xinzhi Peng, Jinsong Wang, Roberta M. Lassance-Soares, Amir H. Najafi, Subeena Sood, Nima Aghili, Lee O. Alderman, Julio A. Panza, James E. Faber, Shenming Wang, Stephen E. Epstein, Mary Susan Burnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Blood flow restoration to ischemic tissue is affected by various risk factors. The aim of this study was to examine gender effects on arteriogenesis and angiogenesis in a mouse ischemic hindlimb model. C57BL/6J mice were subjected to unilateral hindlimb ischemia. Flow recovery was less and hindlimb use impairment was greater in females. No gender difference in vessel number was found at baseline, although 7 days postsurgery females had fewer α-smooth muscle actin-positive vessels in the midpoint of the adductor region. Females had higher hindlimb vascular resistance, were less responsive to vasodilators, and were more sensitive to vasoconstrictors postligation. Western blotting showed that females had higher baseline levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) in the calf, while 7 days postligation males had higher levels of VEGF, eNOS, and phosphorylated vasodilator stimulated phosphoprotein. Females had less angiogenesis in a Matrigel plug assay and less endothelial cell proliferation in vitro. Females have impaired recovery of flow, a finding presumably caused by multiple factors including decreased collateral remodeling, less angiogenesis, impaired vasodilator response, and increased vasoconstrictor activity; our results also suggest the possibility that new collateral formation, from capillaries, is impaired in females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H2027-H2034
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Angiogenesis
  • Arteriogenesis
  • Vasoreactivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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