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      Repeated Estradiol Treatment Prevents MPTP-Induced Dopamine Depletion in Male Mice

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          Epidemiological data suggest that the steroid hormone 17β-estradiol plays an important role in protecting the brain from neurodegenerative processes, including that causing the loss of dopamine (DA) neurons in Parkinson’s disease. Determining the mechanisms of neuroprotection in experimental systems may facilitate the development of estrogenic therapies for these diseases. The present study sought to further investigate the mechanism of the neuroprotective effect of 17β-estradiol in a murine model of Parkinson’s disease, i.e. 1-methyl- 4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced striatal DA depletion. Consistent with previous findings, 17β-estradiol was found to inhibit MPTP-induced DA depletion under a dosing regimen (repeated daily administration) that mimicked physiological levels of the steroid. However, high doses of the steroid administered repeatedly or acutely failed to inhibit toxicity, as did 17α- estradiol. These data suggest that the neuroprotective effect of 17β-estradiol was mediated through an interaction with one of the nuclear estrogen receptors, and is not the result of an antioxidant action. In order to realize the therapeutic potential of the neuroprotective effect of 17β-estradiol for Parkinson’s disease, it will be necessary to identify synthetic estrogen receptor modulators that lack the activity of the steroid on peripheral tissue. In this study, raloxifene failed to mimic the neuroprotective effect of 17β-estradiol against MPTP toxicity. Thus, exploration of new compounds with different pharmacological and/or physiochemical properties is warranted.

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          Most cited references 14

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          Effects of raloxifene on bone mineral density, serum cholesterol concentrations, and uterine endometrium in postmenopausal women.

          Long-term estrogen therapy can reduce the risk of osteoporotic fracture and cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women. At present, however, these beneficial effects are not separable from undesirable stimulation of breast and endometrial tissues. We studied the effect of raloxifene, a nonsteroidal benzothiophene, on bone mineral density, serum lipid concentrations, and endometrial thickness in 601 postmenopausal women. The women were randomly assigned to receive 30, 60, or 150 mg of raloxifene or placebo daily for 24 months. The women receiving each dose of raloxifene had significant increases from base-line values in bone mineral density of the lumbar spine, hip, and total body, whereas those receiving placebo had decreases in bone mineral density. For example, at 24 months, the mean (+/-SE) difference in the change in bone mineral density between the women receiving 60 mg of raloxifene per day and those receiving placebo was 2.4+/-0.4 percent for the lumbar spine, 2.4+/-0.4 percent for the total hip, and 2.0+/-0.4 percent for the total body (P<0.001 for all comparisons). Serum concentrations of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol decreased in all the raloxifene groups, whereas serum concentrations of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides did not change. Endometrial thickness was similar in the raloxifene and placebo groups at all times during the study. The proportion of women receiving raloxifene who reported hot flashes or vaginal bleeding was not different from that of the women receiving placebo. Daily therapy with raloxifene increases bone mineral density, lowers serum concentrations of total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and does not stimulate the endometrium.
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            Estrogen receptor alpha, not beta, is a critical link in estradiol-mediated protection against brain injury.

             Roger Wise,  S Rau,  M Kindy (2001)
            Estradiol protects against brain injury, neurodegeneration, and cognitive decline. Our previous work demonstrates that physiological levels of estradiol protect against stroke injury and that this protection may be mediated through receptor-dependent alterations of gene expression. In this report, we tested the hypothesis that estrogen receptors play a pivotal role in mediating neuroprotective actions of estradiol and dissected the potential biological roles of each estrogen receptor (ER) subtype, ER alpha and ER beta, in the injured brain. To investigate and delineate these mechanisms, we used ER alpha-knockout (ER alpha KO) and ER beta-knockout (ER beta KO) mice in an animal model of stroke. We performed our studies by using a controlled endocrine paradigm, because endogenous levels of estradiol differ dramatically among ER alpha KO, ER beta KO, and wild-type mice. We ovariectomized ER alpha KO, ER beta KO, and the respective wild-type mice and implanted them with capsules filled with oil (vehicle) or a dose of 17 beta-estradiol that produces physiological hormone levels in serum. One week later, mice underwent ischemia. Our results demonstrate that deletion of ER alpha completely abolishes the protective actions of estradiol in all regions of the brain; whereas the ability of estradiol to protect against brain injury is totally preserved in the absence of ER beta. Thus, our results clearly establish that the ER alpha subtype is a critical mechanistic link in mediating the protective effects of physiological levels of estradiol in brain injury. Our discovery that ER alpha mediates protection of the brain carries far-reaching implications for the selective targeting of ERs in the treatment and prevention of neural dysfunction associated with normal aging or brain injury.
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              Estradiol protects against ischemic injury.

              Clinical studies demonstrate that estrogen replacement therapy in postmenopausal women may enhance cognitive function and reduce neurodegeneration associated with Alzheimer's disease and stroke. This study assesses whether physiologic levels of estradiol prevent brain injury in an in vivo model of permanent focal ischemia. Sprague-Dawley rats were ovariectomized; they then were implanted, immediately or at the onset of ischemia, with capsules that produced physiologically low or physiologically high 17beta-estradiol levels in serum (10 or 60 pg/mL, respectively). One week after ovariectomy, ischemia was induced. Estradiol pretreatment significantly reduced overall infarct volume compared with oil-pretreated controls (mean+/-SD: oil = 241+/-88; low = 139+/-91; high = 132+/-88 mm3); this protective effect was regionally specific to the cortex, since no protection was observed in the striatum. Baseline and ischemic regional CBF did not differ between oil and estradiol pretreated rats, as measured by laser Doppler flowmetry. Acute estradiol treatment did not protect against ischemic injury. Our finding that estradiol pretreatment reduces injury demonstrates that physiologic levels of estradiol can protect against neurodegeneration.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                April 2003
                21 May 2003
                : 77
                : 4
                : 223-231
                CNS Discovery, Pfizer Global Research and Development, Groton, Conn., USA
                70277 Neuroendocrinology 2003;77:223–231
                © 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 6, Tables: 1, References: 36, Pages: 9
                Sex Steroids and Reproductive Neuroendocrinology


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