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Calcif Tissue Int. 2000 Jul;67(1):75-9.

Osteoblast gene expression in rat long bones: effects of ovariectomy and dihydrotestosterone on mRNA levels.

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Department of Physiology, The University of Adelaide, South Australia.


The steroid sex hormones exert major effects on bone formation although the molecular events associated with their activity remain unclear. We have investigated the effects of ovariectomy and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) administration to both sham-operated and ovariectomized (ovx) rats on the bone mRNA levels of osteoblast genes. Rats were randomly allocated to either sham or ovariectomy operations and were administered either vehicle or 40 mg/ kg body weight DHT by silastic tube implants at the time of operation for 8 weeks, at which time they were killed and total RNA was extracted from the long bones. Northern blot analysis indicated that the mRNA levels of the bone cell genes alpha1(I) collagen, alkaline phosphatase, osteocalcin, and osteopontin were markedly increased in ovx rats between 6- and 30-fold. DHT administration to ovary-intact, estrogen-sufficient rats increased the mRNA levels of alpha1(I) collagen, alkaline phosphatase, osteopontin, and osteocalcin between 3- and 9-fold. In contrast, DHT did not alter levels of these mRNA species in ovx rats. The data demonstrate that estrogen deficiency increased mRNA levels of genes expressed during osteoblast development and suggest an interplay between estrogen and androgen action in regulating the expression of a number of bone cell genes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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