Estrogen replacement therapy regulation of energy metabolism in female mouse hypothalamus.

PMID 24635349


Estrogens play an important role in the regulation of energy homeostasis in female mammals and a reduced ovarian function, due to natural aging or surgery, is associated with body weight increase and fat redistribution. This disruption of energy homeostasis may constitute a trigger for several pathologies known to be associated with climacterium; however, so far, limited attention has been devoted to the ability of estrogen replacement therapies (ERT) to reinstate the balanced energy metabolism characteristic of cycling female mammals. The purpose of the present study was to compare the efficacy of selected ERTs in reversing the ovariectomy-induced gain in body weight. To this aim female ERE-Luc mice were ovariectomized and, after 3 weeks, treated per os for 21 days with: conjugated estrogens, two selective estrogen receptor modulators (bazedoxifene and raloxifene), and the combination of bazedoxifene plus conjugated estrogens (tissue-selective estrogen complex, TSEC). The study shows that the therapy based on TSEC was the most efficacious in reducing the body weight accrued by ovariectomy (OVX). In addition, by means of in vivo imaging, the TSEC treatment was shown to increase estrogen receptor (ER) transcriptional activity selectively in the arcuate nucleus, which is a key area for the control of energy homeostasis. Finally, quantitative analysis of the mRNAs encoding orexigenic and anorexigenic peptides indicated that following ERT with TSEC there was a significant change in Agrp, NPY, and Kiss-1 mRNA accumulation in the whole hypothalamus. Considering that prior studies showed that ERT with TSEC was able to mimic the rhythm of ER oscillatory activity during the reproductive cycle and that such fluctuations were relevant for energy metabolism, the present observations further point to the ER tetradian oscillation as an important component of the ER signaling necessary for the full hormone action and therefore for an efficacious ERT.