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Am J Pathol. 2002 May;160(5):1877-85.

Estrogen-related abnormalities in glomerulosclerosis-prone mice: reduced mesangial cell estrogen receptor expression and prosclerotic response to estrogens.

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Vascular Biology Institute, Department of Medicine, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida 33101, USA.


The development and progression of glomerulosclerosis (GS) is determined by the genetic background. The incidence of end-stage renal disease is increased in postmenopausal women, suggesting that estrogen deficiency may play a role in the accumulation of extracellular matrix by mesangial cells (MCs), which are primarily responsible for the synthesis and degradation of this matrix. Using mouse models that are prone or resistant to the development of GS, we compared the expression of estrogen receptor (ER)-alpha and ER-beta subtypes in GS-prone and GS-resistant glomeruli and isolated MCs, and examined the effects of estrogens on ER, collagen, and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) expression in MCs. Glomeruli and MCs from GS-prone mice had decreased expression of ER-alpha and ER-beta subtypes and ER transcriptional activity was also decreased in their MCs. Importantly, although 17 beta-estradiol treatment resulted in decreased collagen accumulation and increased MMP-9 expression and activity in MCs from GS-resistant mice, there was, paradoxically, no effect on collagen accumulation and decreased MMP-9 expression and activity in MCs from GS-prone mice. Thus, GS susceptibility is associated with diminished ER expression in MCs. The renal protective effects of estrogens, including decreased collagen accumulation and increased MMP-9 expression, seem to be blunted in GS-prone MCs.

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