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J Bone Miner Res. 2001 Jun;16(6):1045-55.

Mechanical strain and estrogen activate estrogen receptor alpha in bone cells.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Basic Sciences, The Royal Veterinary College, London, United Kingdom.


Bone cells' early responses to estrogen and mechanical strain were investigated in the ROS 17/2.8 cell line. Immunoblotting with antiphosphorylated estrogen receptor a (ER-alpha) antibody showed that when these cells were exposed for 10 minutes to estrogen (10(-8) M) or a single period of cyclic dynamic strain (peak 3400 microepsilon, 1 Hz, 600 cycles), there was an increase in the intensity of a 66-kDa band, indicating phosphorylation of ser122 in the amino terminus of ER-alpha. Increased phosphorylation was detected within 5 minutes of exposure to estrogen and 5 minutes after the end of the period of strain. Estrogen and strain also activated the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family member extracellular regulated kinase-1 (ERK-1). Increases in ERK activation coincided with increased ER-alpha phosphorylation. Activation of ERK-1 and the phosphorylation of ER-alpha, by both estrogen and strain, were prevented by the MAP kinase kinase (MEK) inhibitor U0126 and the protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor (PKI). These data support previous suggestions that resident bone cells' early responses to strain and estrogen share a common pathway, which involves ER-alpha. This pathway also appears to involve PKA and ERK-mediated phosphorylation of ser122 within the amino terminus of ER-alpha. Reduced availability of this pathway when estrogen levels are reduced could explain diminished effectiveness of mechanically related control of bone architecture after the menopause.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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