Honors Program

[Honors-in-Discipline (Choose below)], Honors in Biology

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Cerrone Foster

Thesis Professor Department

<--College of Arts and Sciences-->

Thesis Reader(s)

Frank Hagelberg


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide. Pre-menopausal women have a lower incidence and severity of CVD compared to age-matched men. However, at the onset of menopause, CVD increases. A central feature in patients with CVD is excessive chronic sympathetic stimulation (CSS) of β-adrenergic receptors (β-AR’s). Clinical and animal studies show estrogen deficiency and age exacerbate cardiac β-AR signaling and contractile function. This led to the hypothesis that prolonged estrogen deficiency followed by CSS worsens left ventricular cardiac function and hypertrophy in the aged female heart. Female mice underwent bilateral ovariectomy or SHAM surgery at 2.5 months of age. At 12 months post-ovariectomy, mice were infused with Isoproterenol (400μg/kg/h) via mini-osmotic pumps for three days to induce CSS. This observation demonstrates prolonged estrogen deficiency worsens cardiac function and structure in aged female hearts. Thereby emphasizing the importance of clinical intervention and prevention for CVD in menopausal women.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Withheld

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Available for download on Friday, April 26, 2024