• Open Access

Estrogen receptor-α is required for the osteogenic response to mechanical loading in a ligand-independent manner involving its activation function 1 but not 2

Authors

  • Sara H Windahl,

    1. Department of Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, Centre for Bone and Arthritis Research, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
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  • Leanne Saxon,

    1. The Royal Veterinary College, London, UK
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  • Anna E Börjesson,

    1. Department of Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, Centre for Bone and Arthritis Research, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
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  • Marie K Lagerquist,

    1. Department of Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, Centre for Bone and Arthritis Research, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
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  • Baruch Frenkel,

    1. Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
    2. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
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  • Petra Henning,

    1. Department of Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, Centre for Bone and Arthritis Research, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
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  • Ulf H Lerner,

    1. Department of Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, Centre for Bone and Arthritis Research, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
    2. Department of Molecular Peridontology, Molecular Periodontology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
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  • Gabriel L Galea,

    1. School of Veterinary Sciences, Bristol, UK
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  • Lee B Meakin,

    1. School of Veterinary Sciences, Bristol, UK
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  • Cecilia Engdahl,

    1. Department of Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, Centre for Bone and Arthritis Research, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
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  • Klara Sjögren,

    1. Department of Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, Centre for Bone and Arthritis Research, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
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  • Maria C Antal,

    1. Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire (CNRS, INSERM, UdS, Collège de France), Illkirch, Strasbourg, France
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  • Andrée Krust,

    1. Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire (CNRS, INSERM, UdS, Collège de France), Illkirch, Strasbourg, France
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  • Pierre Chambon,

    1. Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire (CNRS, INSERM, UdS, Collège de France), Illkirch, Strasbourg, France
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  • Lance E Lanyon,

    1. School of Veterinary Sciences, Bristol, UK
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  • Joanna S Price,

    1. School of Veterinary Sciences, Bristol, UK
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  • Claes Ohlsson

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, Centre for Bone and Arthritis Research, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
    • Centre for Bone and Arthritis Research, Vita Stråket 11, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, 413 45 Gothenburg, Sweden.
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Abstract

Estrogen receptor-α (ERα) is crucial for the adaptive response of bone to loading but the role of endogenous estradiol (E2) for this response is unclear. To determine in vivo the ligand dependency and relative roles of different ERα domains for the osteogenic response to mechanical loading, gene-targeted mouse models with (1) a complete ERα inactivation (ERα−/−), (2) specific inactivation of activation function 1 (AF-1) in ERα (ERαAF-10), or (3) specific inactivation of ERαAF-2 (ERαAF-20) were subjected to axial loading of tibia, in the presence or absence (ovariectomy [ovx]) of endogenous E2. Loading increased the cortical bone area in the tibia mainly as a result of an increased periosteal bone formation rate (BFR) and this osteogenic response was similar in gonadal intact and ovx mice, demonstrating that E2 (ligand) is not required for this response. Female ERα−/− mice displayed a severely reduced osteogenic response to loading with changes in cortical area (−78% ± 15%, p < 0.01) and periosteal BFR (−81% ± 9%, p < 0.01) being significantly lower than in wild-type (WT) mice. ERαAF-10 mice also displayed a reduced response to mechanical loading compared with WT mice (cortical area −40% ± 11%, p < 0.05 and periosteal BFR −41% ± 8%, p < 0.01), whereas the periosteal osteogenic response to loading was unaffected in ERαAF-20 mice. Mechanical loading of transgenic estrogen response element (ERE)-luciferase reporter mice did not increase luciferase expression in cortical bone, suggesting that the loading response does not involve classical genomic ERE-mediated pathways. In conclusion, ERα is required for the osteogenic response to mechanical loading in a ligand-independent manner involving AF-1 but not AF-2. © 2013 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research

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