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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2008 Jun 11;287(1-2):40-6. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2008.01.027. Epub 2008 Feb 12.

Activity of three selective estrogen receptor modulators on hormone-dependent responses in the mouse uterus and mammary gland.

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Endocrinology & Reproductive Disorders Division, Women's Health and Musculoskeletal Biology, Wyeth Research, Collegeville, PA 19426, USA.


Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) have the unique potential to provide estrogenic effects in the skeletal and cardiovascular system, while minimizing/eliminating side effects on reproductive organs. However, despite the unifying characteristic of mixed estrogen receptor (ER) agonist/antagonist activity, compounds within this class are not interchangeable. In order to define and compare the effects of SERMs on different hormone-responsive tissues, we evaluated effects of bazedoxifene acetate (BZA), lasofoxifene (LAS) and raloxifene (RAL) in the mammary gland and uterus of the ovariectomized mouse. Endpoints measured included those regulated by estradiol alone (uterine wet weight, uterine G protein-coupled receptor 105 (GPR105) mRNA expression and mammary gland indoleamine-pyrrole 2,3 dioxygenase (INDO) mRNA expression) as well as others that required the combination of estradiol and progesterone (uterine serine protease inhibitor Kazal type 3 (Spink3) mRNA expression, mammary gland morphology and mammary gland defensin beta1 (Defbeta1) mRNA expression). The three SERMs tested had variable agonist and antagonist activity on these endpoints. In the uterus, the SERMs were mixed agonists/antagonists on estradiol-induced wet weight increase, whereas all three SERMs were estrogen receptor antagonists on GPR105 mRNA expression. However, in the presence of progesterone, BZA and RAL were agonists on Spink3 expression, while LAS was primarily an antagonist. In the mammary gland, BZA and RAL were predominantly agonists on the endpoint of mammary morphology and all three SERMs were clear agonists on Defbeta1 mRNA expression, an E+P-dependent marker. Finally, LAS and RAL had mixed agonist/antagonist activity on INDO mRNA expression, while BZA had only antagonist activity. These results demonstrate that compounds with small structural differences can elicit distinct biological responses, and that in general, SERMs tended to behave more as antagonists on endpoints requiring estrogen alone and agonists on endpoints requiring the combination of estrogen and progesterone.

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