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Mol Endocrinol. 2010 May;24(5):877-85. doi: 10.1210/me.2009-0238. Epub 2009 Nov 12.

Minireview: osteoprotective action of estrogens is mediated by osteoclastic estrogen receptor-alpha.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Nuclear Signaling, Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, The University of Tokyo, 1-1-1, Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan.

Abstract

The osteoprotective action of estrogen in women has drawn considerable attention because estrogen deficiency-induced osteoporosis became one of the most widely spread diseases in developed countries. In men, the significance of estrogen action for bone health maintenance is also apparent from the osteoporotic phenotype seen in male patients with genetically impaired estrogen signaling. Severe bone loss and high bone turnover, including typical osteofeatures seen in postmenopausal women, can also be recapitulated in rodents after ovariectomy. However, the expected osteoporotic phenotype is not observed in female mice deficient in estrogen receptor (ER)-alpha or -beta or both, even though the degenerative defects are clearly seen in other estrogen target tissues together with up-regulated levels of circulating testosterone. It has also been reported that estrogens may attenuate bone remodeling by cell autonomous suppressive effects on osteoblastogenesis and osteoclastogenesis. Hence, the effects of estrogens in bone appear to be complex, and the molecular role of bone estrogen receptors in osteoprotective estrogen action remains unclear. Instead, it has been proposed that estrogens indirectly control bone remodeling. For example, the enhanced production of cytokines under estrogen deficiency induces bone resorption through stimulation of osteoclastogenesis. However, the osteoporotic phenotype without systemic defects has been recapitulated in female (but not in male) mice by osteoclast-specific ablation of the ERalpha, proving that bone cells represent direct targets for estrogen action. An aberrant accumulation of mature osteoclasts in these female mutants indicates that in females, the inhibitory action of estrogens on bone resorption is mediated by the osteoclastic ERalpha through the shortened lifespan of osteoclasts.

PMID:
19910454
PMCID:
PMC5417493
DOI:
10.1210/me.2009-0238
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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