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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003 Mar;35(3):439-43.

Estrogen receptor alpha mRNA in human skeletal muscles.

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Laboratoire de Physiologie et de Biomécanique de L'Exercice Musculaire, Université de Rennes II, Rennes, France.



To explain the effect of estrogen on skeletal muscle, the presence of estrogen receptor alpha mRNA (ERalpha mRNA) was investigated in human skeletal muscle.


The highly sensitive technique of nested reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (nested RT-PCR) was applied on a variety of tissue samples of both sexes: women (deltoid, pectoral, and uterus muscles) (N= 3) and men (deltoid muscle) (N= 3). The total ribonucleic acid was isolated from each tissue sample, reverse transcribed in a thermocycler, and nested PCR was then performed with specific primers. The by-products were analyzed by agarose gel electrophoresis. Internal standard 28S was simultaneously amplified. The ERalpha mRNA level was quantitated by using the ERalpha mRNA/28S mRNA ratio.


The expected 204-bp product corresponding to ERalpha was amplified in all tested tissue samples, i.e., deltoid, pectoral, and uterine muscles from women and deltoid muscle from men. The ERalpha mRNA/28S mRNA ratios indicating the receptor expression levels in deltoid muscle from men and women were 0.945 +/- 0.393 (mean +/- SD) (N= 3) and 0.973 +/- 0.136 (mean +/- SD) (N= 2), respectively.


In conclusion, the nested RT-PCR technique identified the presence of transcript encoding ERalpha mRNA in human skeletal muscles. Semi-quantification did not reveal gender difference.

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