We have examined the effects of sex hormones on calcinm-dependent NO production and protein levels of NO syn-thase in cultured human aortic endothelial cells, which were treated with various doses of 17~-estradiol and testosterone for 8-48 h. Treatment with 17~-estradiol enhanced calcium-depend-ent NO production, but testosterone had exerted no effect. West-ern blot using monoclonal anti-human endothelial NO synthase antibody clarified that increased NO production by 17~-estradiol treatment was accompanied by increased NO synthase protein. Our results provide evidence that human endothelial NO synthase can be regulated by estrogens.
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