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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2001 Aug 20;182(1):27-37.

Demonstration of estrogen receptor subtypes alpha and beta in human adipose tissue: influences of adipose cell differentiation and fat depot localization.

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Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Aarhus Amtssygehus, Aarhus University Hospital, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.


A novel ER-subtype, the ER-beta has recently been characterized in various tissues, furthermore five isoforms of the ER-beta are known (ER-beta1--ER-beta5). Using immunoblotting and real- time RT-PCR, ER-alpha and beta were studied in human adipose tissue. The expression of ER-alpha mRNA was equal in subcutaneous gluteal adipose tissue, subcutaneous abdominal and intra-abdominal adipose tissue, similar findings were obtained at the protein level. In contrast the amount of ER-beta1 (protein and mRNA) was significantly lower in intra-abdominal adipose tissue as compared with the subcutaneous adipose tissue (five-fold lower in women, P<0.005 and three-fold lower in men, P<0.005) whereas the expression of ER-beta4 and -beta5 mRNA isoforms were significantly higher in gluteal adipose tissue compared to subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue. No significant gender differences in ER expression was detected in any of the fat depots investigated. During adipocyte differentiation the expression of ER-alpha, -beta4 and -beta5 mRNA declined, whereas, the expression of ER-beta1 mRNA was constant. In conclusion, the existence of ER-beta isoforms in human adipose tissue was demonstrated and the amount of these receptors was dependent upon fat depot localization, with much reduced expression of ER-beta1 in intra-abdominal adipose tissue compared to subcutaneous adipose tissue. These findings may indicate that estrogens could have differentiation and depot specific effects in human adipose tissue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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