Sex Differences in the Dilatory Response of Compound 21

  • End date
    Oct 1, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Anna Stanhewicz, PhD
Updated on 24 October 2022
Accepts healthy volunteers


When blood pressure changes, Angiotensin II is produced and released into the bloodstream. This substance can make blood vessels smaller (i.e., vasoconstriction) by acting through Angiotensin II type I receptors (AT1R) to increase blood pressure. Or it can increase the diameter of vessels (i.e., vasodilation) through Angiotensin II type II receptors (AT2R) to decrease blood pressure. These two receptors normally work in balance to maintain blood pressure. However, excess Angiotensin II released in the bloodstream may reduce the sensitivity of AT2Rs, leading to excessive activation of AT1Rs. This results in increased constriction which plays a major role in diseases such as high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, and heart failure. In the body, Angiotensin II production is reduced in the presence of estrogen, as seen in pre-menopausal women. Pre-menopausal women have a greater protection against cardiovascular diseases compared to age-matched males, likely due to the protective effects of estrogen. However, the extent that estrogen may impact the sensitivity of Angiotensin II receptors in pre-menopausal is unknown.

In this study, the investigators use the blood vessels in the skin as a representative vascular bed for examining mechanisms of microvascular dysfunction in humans. Using a minimally invasive technique (intradermal microdialysis for the local delivery of pharmaceutical agents), the blood vessels in a dime-sized area of the skin are studied in healthy young women and men. As a compliment to these measurements, blood is drawn from the subjects and circulating factors that may contribute to cardiovascular health are measured.

Condition Sex Differences
Treatment Compound 21, Compound 21 + losartan
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05576155
SponsorAnna Stanhewicz, PhD
Last Modified on24 October 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Young women or men
-35 years old
Body mass index between 18 and 30 kg/m2
Systolic blood pressure <140
Diastolic blood pressure <90 mmHg

Exclusion Criteria

Skin allergies, skin disorders, or skin diseases such as Raynaud's phenomenon or other history of cold intolerance
History of metabolic or cardiovascular disease
Taking medications that could alter vascular function, including antidepressants, anxiety medications, or cholesterol or blood pressure lowering drugs
Women with oligo- or amenorrhea
Women that are pregnant or nursing
current tobacco use
Allergy to materials used during the experiment (e.g. latex)
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