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      Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator Effects in the Rat Brain

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          Abstract

          The effects in the brain of selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) such as tamoxifen and raloxifene have not yet been fully elucidated. Based upon the hypothesis that serotonin (5-HT)-steroid hormone interactions are important in mood regulation, we have compared six SERMs (tamoxifen, raloxifene, levormeloxifene, NNC 45-0781, NNC 45-0320, NNC 45-1506) with 17β-estradiol (E<sub>2</sub>) in terms of their ability to regulate mRNA levels of estrogen receptor (ER)α, ERβ, 5-HT<sub>1A</sub> receptor, and 5-HT reuptake transporter (SERT) in the midbrain, amygdala, and hypothalamus of ovariectomized (OVX) rats. Female rats (n = 6/group, 8 groups total) were OVX and allowed to recover for 2 weeks. During the third post-OVX week, rats were injected subcutaneously with E<sub>2</sub> (0.1 mg/kg) or one of the SERMs (5 mg/kg) once per day for 7 days. Twenty-four hours after the last injection, tissue was collected for the determination of mRNA levels by ribonuclease protection assay (RPA). E<sub>2</sub> treatment significantly decreased mRNA levels for ERα, ERβ, and SERT in midbrain and ERα in hypothalamus. Tamoxifen increased ERβ mRNA levels in hypothalamus, while raloxifene increased ERβ mRNA levels in amygdala. NNC 45-0320 decreased ERα mRNA in hypothalamus and decreased ERβ mRNA in amygdala. These results suggest that while SERMs are not full estrogen receptor agonists in the brain, the agonist/antagonist profiles for individual SERMs may differ among brain areas. This raises the possibility of developing new SERMs for selective functions in specific brain areas.

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          Most cited references 12

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          Comparative distribution of estrogen receptor-? and -? mRNA in the rat central nervous system

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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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              Functional domains of the human estrogen receptor.

              Two domains of the human estrogen receptor, responsible for hormone binding (region E) and tight nuclear binding (region C), are essential for the receptor to activate efficiently the transcription of estrogen-responsive genes. Region D, which joins the DNA- and hormone-binding domains, can be altered without affecting activation. Deletion of the N-terminal domain (region A/B) has no effect on activation of a reporter gene containing a vitellogenin estrogen-responsive element (ERE) and the HSV-tk promoter, whereas it severely impairs activation of the human pS2 gene promoter. Deletion of most or all of the hormone-binding domain leads to only about 5% constitutive transcriptional activity, yet these mutants appear to bind efficiently to an ERE in vivo. Apparently, region C recognizes the ERE of target genes, and the hormone-binding domain plays an essential role for efficient activation of transcription.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                NEN
                Neuroendocrinology
                10.1159/issn.0028-3835
                Neuroendocrinology
                S. Karger AG
                0028-3835
                1423-0194
                2002
                January 2002
                24 January 2002
                : 75
                : 1
                : 24-33
                Affiliations
                aDepartment of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Tex., USA; Departments of bPharmacological Research 2, and cMedicinal Chemistry Research 3, Novo Nordisk A/S, Novo Nordisk Park, Måløv, Denmark
                Article
                48218 Neuroendocrinology 2002;75:24–33
                10.1159/000048218
                11810032
                © 2002 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: 7, Tables: 1, References: 56, Pages: 10
                Categories
                Regulation of Reproductive Functions

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