Estrogen responsiveness of bone formation in vitro and altered bone phenotype in aged estrogen receptor-alpha-deficient male and female mice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: Although the beneficial effects of estrogen on bone are well known, the roles of estrogen receptors (ERs) in mediating these effects are not fully understood. Methods: To study the effects of long-term ERalpha deficiency, bone phenotype was studied in aged ERalpha knockout (ERKO) mice. In addition, ERKO osteoclasts and osteoblasts were cultured in vitro. Design and results: Histomorphometric analysis showed that the trabecular bone volume and thickness were significantly increased and the rate of bone formation enhanced in both male and female ERKO mice in comparison to the witd-type animals. In ERKO males, however, the bones were thinner and their maximal bending strengths decreased. Consistent with previous reports, the bones of knockout mice, especially of female mice, were shorter than those of wild-type mice. In addition, the growth plates were totally absent in the tibiae of aged ERKO females, whereas the growth plate cartilages were detectable in wild-type females as well as in all the males. Analysis of cultured bone marrow cells from 10- to 12-week-old mice demonstrated that 17beta-estradiol could stimulate osteoblastic differentiation of bone marrow cells derived from ERKO mice relatively to the same extent as those derived from wild-type mice. This was demonstrated by increases in synthesis of type I collagen, activity of alkaline phosphatase and accumulation of calcium in cultures. Total protein content was, however, reduced in ERKO osteoblast cultures. Conclusions: These results show altered bone phenotype in ERKO mice and demonstrate the stimulatory effect of estrogen on ostcoblasts even in the absence of full-length ERalpha.


  • V Parikka
  • ZQ Peng
  • T Hentunen
  • J Risteli
  • T Elo
  • HK Vaananen
  • Pirkko Härkönen
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-314
JournalEuropean Journal of Endocrinology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Department affilation moved from v1000588 (Tumour Biology, Malmö) to v1000562 (Department of Translational Medicine) on 2016-01-18 14:39:30.