Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Epidemiol. 2005 Feb 15;161(4):307-20.

Estrogen receptor gene polymorphisms and the genetics of osteoporosis: a HuGE review.

Author information

Department of Internal Medicine, Endocrine-Metabolic Sciences and Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Siena, 53100 Siena, Italy.


Osteoporosis (OMIM166710) is a common skeletal disorder characterized by low bone mass and microarchitectural deterioration of bone tissue with increased susceptibility to fracture. Osteoporosis has a complex etiology and is considered a multifactorial polygenic disease in which genetic determinants are modulated by hormonal, environmental, and nutritional factors. Estrogens are known to play an important role in regulating bone homeostasis and preventing postmenopausal bone loss. They act through binding to two different estrogen receptors (ERs), ER alpha (OMIM133430) and ER beta (OMIM601663), which are members of the nuclear receptor superfamily of ligand-activated transcription factors. Different polymorphisms have been described in both the ER alpha and ER beta genes. Although a large number of association studies have been performed, the individual contribution of these polymorphisms to the pathogenesis of osteoporosis remains to be universally confirmed. Moreover, an important aim in future work will be to define their functional molecular consequences and their interaction with the environment in the causation of the osteoporotic phenotype. A further promising application of these polymorphisms comes from their pharmacogenomic implications, with the possibility of providing better guidance for therapeutic regimens, such as estrogen replacement therapy and selective ER modulators. At the moment, no recommendations for population-based screening can be made.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center