The role of estrogen receptor α in growth plate cartilage for longitudinal bone growth

Anna Borjesson, Marie K Lagerquist, Chen Liu, Ruijin Shao, Sara H Windahl, Camilla Karlsson, Klara Sjogren, Sofia Moverare-Skrtic, Maria C Antal, Andree Krust, Subburaman Mohan, Pierre Chambon, Lars Savendahl, Claes Ohlsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Estrogens enhance skeletal growth during early sexual maturation, whereas high estradiol levels during late puberty result in growth plate fusion in humans. Although the growth plates do not fuse directly after sexual maturation in rodents, a reduction in growth plate height is seen by treatment with a high dose of estradiol. It is unknown whether the effects of estrogens on skeletal growth are mediated directly via estrogen receptors (ERs) in growth plate cartilage and/or indirectly via other mechanisms such as the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor 1 (GH/IGF-1) axis. To determine the role of ERα in growth plate cartilage for skeletal growth, we developed a mouse model with cartilage-specific inactivation of ERα. Although mice with total ERα inactivation displayed affected longitudinal bone growth associated with alterations in the GH/IGF-1 axis, the skeletal growth was normal during sexual maturation in mice with cartilage-specific ERα inactivation. High-dose estradiol treatment of adult mice reduced the growth plate height as a consequence of attenuated proliferation of growth plate chondrocytes in control mice but not in cartilage-specific ERα(-/-) mice. Adult cartilage-specific ERα(-/-) mice continued to grow after 4 months of age, whereas growth was limited in control mice, resulting in increased femur length in 1-year-old cartilage-specific ERα(-/-) mice compared with control mice. We conclude that during early sexual maturation, ERα in growth plate cartilage is not important for skeletal growth. In contrast, it is essential for high-dose estradiol to reduce the growth plate height in adult mice and for reduction of longitudinal bone growth in elderly mice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2690-2700
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of estrogen receptor α in growth plate cartilage for longitudinal bone growth'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this