The Journal of biological chemistry

Impaired estrogen sensitivity in bone by inhibiting both estrogen receptor alpha and beta pathways.

PMID 10806217


Although it is well established that estrogen deficiency causes osteoporosis among the postmenopausal women, the involvement of estrogen receptor (ER) in its pathogenesis still remains uncertain. In the present study, we have generated rats harboring a dominant negative ERalpha, which inhibits the actions of not only ERalpha but also recently identified ERbeta. Contrary to our expectation, the bone mineral density (BMD) of the resulting transgenic female rats was maintained at the same level with that of the wild-type littermates when sham-operated. In addition, ovariectomy-induced bone loss was observed almost equally in both groups. Strikingly, however, the BMD of the transgenic female rats, after ovariectomized, remained decreased even if 17beta-estradiol (E(2)) was administrated, whereas, in contrast, the decrease of littermate BMD was completely prevented by E(2). Moreover, bone histomorphometrical analysis of ovariectomized transgenic rats revealed that the higher rates of bone turnover still remained after treatment with E(2). These results demonstrate that the prevention from the ovariectomy-induced bone loss by estrogen is mediated by ER pathways and that the maintenance of BMD before ovariectomy might be compensated by other mechanisms distinct from ERalpha and ERbeta pathways.