Postmenopausal women on estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) regulate body core temperature at a lower baseline level at rest in a thermoneutral environment. We conducted a series of studies to test whether, in a thermoneutral environment, chronic (≤2 yr) oral ERT significantly alters baseline skin blood flow (SkBF) and cutaneous vascular conductance (CVC) and whether ERT alters maximal CVC (CVC(max)) and SkBF in postmenopausal women. In the first set of studies, forearm blood flow (FBF) was measured by venous- occlusion plethysmography in 24 postmenopausal women: 8 not taking exogenous hormone therapy (No HRT group), 8 on ERT, and 8 receiving combination of estrogen and progesterone therapy, at rest and during prolonged (1 h) local heating of the forearm at 42°C. Mean arterial pressure (MAP) was measured by brachial auscultation before each set of FBF measurements to calculate forearm vascular conductance (FVC = FBF/ MAP). SkBF was measured by laser- Doppler flowmetry (LDF), and CVC was calculated as LDF/MAP and standardized as %CVC(max). Baseline FVC, %CVC(max), and maximal FVC were not significantly different among the three groups of women. In the second set of experiments, LDF in ERT and No HRT groups was measured at rest in both thermoneutral and warm environments. %CVC(max) was again not significantly different between ERT and No HRT groups at thermoneutral ambient temperatures and increased similarly in the warm environment. Therefore, chronic exogenous ERT does not appear to influence either baseline or maximal SkBF.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physiology (medical)