Michael R. Adams, DVM
Professor of Pathology (Comparative Medicine)
Diplomate, ACLAM: Laboratory Animal Medicine
Estrogen, Atherosclerosis, Animal Models
In our laboratory we have utilized a nonhuman primate model and a transgenic mouse model of arteriosclerosis to study certain modulators of the progression of coronary artery atherosclerosis and development of coronary heart disease. Specifically, we are interested in determining how gender and sex hormones influence the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis and the function of atherosclerotic vessels. Utilizing histomorphometric approaches, we have found that both natural and synthetic estrogens inhibit atherosclerosis initiation and progression. Using immunohistochemical and molecular approaches, we are investigating the possible role of sex hormone receptors, cytokines and growth factors in mediating this effect.
Also, in collaboration with Dr. Jan Wagner and others, we are determining the effects of sex hormones on arterial cellular lipoprotein metabolism. With Dr. Williams, we have determined that estrogens promote dilation of atherosclerotic arteries and may, thereby, inhibit atherosclerosis progression and episodic myocardial ischemia or, perhaps, infarction. Current efforts are directed at determining cellular and molecular processes involved in estrogen's apparent beneficial cardiovascular effects.