There are two known estrogen receptors, estrogen receptor-alpha (ER alpha) and estrogen receptor-beta (ER beta), which may mediate the actions of estrogen. The aim of the present study was to compare fat content, skeletal growth and adult bone metabolism in female mice lacking ER alpha (ERKO), ER beta (BERKO) or both ERs (DERKO). We demonstrate that endogenous estrogens decrease the fat content in female mice via ER alpha and not ER beta. Interestingly, the longitudinal bone growth was decreased in ERKO, increased in BERKO, but was intermediate in DERKO females, demonstrating that ER alpha and ER beta exert opposing effects in the regulation of longitudinal bone growth. The effects on longitudinal bone growth were correlated with similar effects on serum levels of IGF-I. A complex regulation of the trabecular bone mineral density (BMD), probably caused by a disturbed feedback regulation of estrogen and testosterone, was observed in female ER-inactivated mice. Nevertheless, a partial functional redundancy for ER alpha and ER beta in the maintenance of the trabecular BMD was observed in the female mice at 60 days of age. Thus, ER alpha and ER beta may have separate effects (regulation of fat), opposing effects (longitudinal bone growth) or partial redundant effects (trabecular BMD at 60 days of age), depending on which parameter is studied.
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MK Lindberg, SL Alatalo, JM Halleen, S Mohan, JA Gustafsson, and C Ohlsson
MK Lindberg, M Erlandsson, SL Alatalo, S Windahl, G Andersson, JM Halleen, H Carlsten, JA Gustafsson, and C Ohlsson
Estrogens are important for the male skeleton. Osteoprotegerin (OPG), receptor activator of NF-kappa B ligand (RANKL), interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-1 and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) have been suggested to be involved in the skeletal effects of estrogen. We treated orchidectomized mice with estradiol for 2 weeks and observed a 143% increase in the trabecular bone mineral density of the distal metaphysis of femur that was associated with a decreased OPG/RANKL mRNA ratio in vertebral bone. A similar decreased OPG/RANKL ratio was also seen after estrogen treatment of ovariectomized female mice. The effect of estrogen receptor (ER) inactivation on the OPG/RANKL ratio was dissected by using intact male mice lacking ER alpha (ERKO), ER beta (BERKO) or both receptors (DERKO). The expression of OPG was increased in ERKO and DERKO but not in BERKO male mice, resulting in an increased OPG/RANKL ratio. Furthermore, serum levels of IL-6 and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase 5b (TRAP 5b) were decreased in ERKO and DERKO, but not in BERKO male mice. These results demonstrate that ER alpha, but not ER beta, is involved in the regulation of the vertebral OPG/RANKL ratio, serum levels of IL-6 and TRAP 5b in male mice.