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J Soc Biol. 2002;196(3):245-8.

[Estrogen resistance and aromatase deficiency in humans].

[Article in French]

Author information

  • 1Département de Médecine Interne, Chaire d'Endocrinologie, Université de Modène, Italie.

Abstract

The primordial role of estrogens in female reproductive function is well known. The recent production of transgenic mice deficient in estrogen receptors (ERKO) or in aromatase (ArKO) and the discovery in man of inactivating mutations of the corresponding genes (ER) have contributed to the understanding of the role of estrogens in metabolic processes in female as well as male. To date 8 well documented cases (5 women and 3 men) of congenital deficiencies in estrogens have been reported. As mice deficient in ERa had been previously described, these cases definitely proved that estrogen absence was compatible with survival and disproved the "lethality concept" previously held because the role of estrogens in implantation and gestation maintenance. ERKO mice are phenotypically normal though sterile, but their bone density is lower (20-25%) than that of controls. Similarly, men with no aromatase or no ER display continuous growth, osteoporosis and also (but not necessarily) alterations in testicular functions. How much do primordial functions such as bone development, control of gonadotrophin secretion and lipid metabolism depend on estrogens? These interrogations, elegantly clarified following testosterone and estradiol treatment in an aromatase deficient man are considered in this present synthesis.

PMID:
12462077
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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