Honors Program

Honors in Biology

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Dr. Cerrone Foster

Thesis Professor Department

Biological Sciences

Thesis Reader(s)

Dr. Gerardo Arceo-Gómez, Dr. Thomas C. Jones


Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) accounts for the leading number of deaths worldwide. Prior to menopause, women exhibit lower rates of CVD compared to age-matched men, however, risks for women increase with menopause. Studies show estrogen loss and age exacerbating cardiac β-adrenergic receptor (β-AR) signaling and contractile function. We therefore hypothesized that prolonged estrogen deficiency and chronic β-adrenergic stimulation cause decreases in cardiac function and increases in fibrosis in aged female hearts. Female mice underwent either an ovariectomy (OVX) or a control SHAM surgery at 10 weeks old and were infused with Isoproterenol for three days via mini osmotic pumps in order to induce chronic β-adrenergic stimulation 12-months post-surgery. Our results show prolonged estrogen deficiency from the OVX exacerbates cardiac function and fibrosis compared to SHAM. These differences highlight the importance of continued research on cardiac estrogen deficiency mechanisms to understand the long-term effects in the heart during both CVD and menopause.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Withheld

Creative Commons License

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