Medroxyprogesterone opposes estradiol-induced renal damage in midlife ovariectomized Long Evans rats

Margaret A. Zimmerman, Benard O. Ogola, Mary M. Wilkinson, Bruna Visniauskas, Carmen De Miguel, Jill M. Daniel, Sarah H. Lindsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: Our laboratory previously published that long-term administration of estradiol (E2) was detrimental to the kidneys of midlife ovariectomized Long Evans rats, contrasting clinical studies in showing that menopausal hormone therapy is associated with decreased albuminuria. However, it is unknown whether this renal benefit was due to estrogen and/or the combination with progestogen. Therefore, the objective of the current study was to determine the impact of medroxyprogesterone (MPA) on E2-mediated renal damage using a rodent model. Methods: Female Long Evans retired breeders underwent ovariectomy at 11 months of age and were treated for 40 days with subcutaneous E2, E2\+MPA or vehicle at doses mimicking that of menopausal hormone therapy (N¼5-7 per group). Systolic blood pressure was measured along with indices of renal damage and function to investigate the impact of MPA on E2-mediated renal outcomes. Renal estrogen receptor alpha and G protein-coupled estrogen receptor transcript copy numbers were measured in all treatment groups through droplet digital PCR. Results: Middle-aged female Long Evans rats displayed spontaneous hypertension with similar systolic blood pressures and heart weights between groups. Even though blood pressure was comparable, E2 reduced glomerular filtration rate and increased proteinuria indicating pressure-independent renal damage. Coadministration with MPA prevented E2-induced glomerular filtration rate impairment and proteinuria by promoting renal hypertrophy and preventing renal interstitial fibrosis. Both E2 and E2\+MPA reduced renal estrogen receptor alpha (ERa) and increased renal G protein-coupled estrogen receptor mRNA, but neither ERa nor ERß protein was different between groups. Conclusion: MPA was protective against E2-induced renal damage and dysfunction in middle-aged female Long Evans rats. Assessing the impact of hormone therapy on renal outcomes may be an important clinical factor when considering treatment options for postmenopausal women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1411-1419
Number of pages9
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Estradiol
  • Kidney
  • Long Evans rat
  • Medroxyprogesterone
  • Menopause

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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