The molecular and pharmacological manipulation of the endogenous redox system is a promising therapy to limit myocardial damage after a heart attack; however, antioxidant therapies have failed to fully establish their cardioprotective effects, suggesting that additional factors, including antioxidant system interactions with other molecular pathways, may alter the pharmacological effects of antioxidants. Since gender differences in cardiovascular disease (CVD) are prevalent, and sex is an essential determinant of the response to oxidative stress, it is of particular interest to understand the effects of sex hormone signaling on the activity and expression of cellular antioxidants and the pharmacological actions of antioxidant therapies. In the present review, we briefly summarize the current understanding of testosterone effects on the modulation of the endogenous antioxidant systems in the CV system, cardiomyocytes, and the heart. We also review the latest research on redox balance and sexual dimorphism, with particular emphasis on the role of the natural antioxidant system glutathione (GSH) in the context of myocardial infarction, and the pro- and antioxidant effects of testosterone signaling via the androgen receptor (AR) on the heart. Finally, we discuss future perspectives regarding the potential of using combing antioxidant and testosterone replacement therapies to protect the aging myocardium.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.