Respective role of membrane and nuclear estrogen receptor (ER) α in the mandible of growing mice: Implications for ERα modulation

Alexia Vinel, Amelie E. Coudert, Melissa Buscato, Marie Cécile Valera, Agnès Ostertag, John A. Katzenellenbogen, Benita S. Katzenellenbogen, Ariane Berdal, Sylvie Babajko, Jean François Arnal, Coralie Fontaine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Estrogens play an important role in bone growth and maturation as well as in the regulation of bone turnover in adults. Although the effects of 17β-estradiol (E2) are well documented in long bones and vertebrae, little is known regarding its action in the mandible. E2 actions could be mediated by estrogen receptor (ER) α or β. ERs act primarily as transcriptional factors through two activation functions (AFs), AF1 and AF2, but they can also elicit membrane-initiated steroid signaling (MISS). The aim of the present study was to define ER pathways involved in E2 effects on mandibular bone. Using mice models targeting ERβ or ERα, we first show that E2 effects on mandibular bone are mediated by ERα and do not require ERβ. Second, we show that nuclear ERαAF2 is absolutely required for all the actions of E2 on mandibular bone. Third, inactivation of ERαMISS partially reduced the E2 response on bone thickness and volume, whereas there was no significant impact on bone mineral density. Altogether, these results show that both nuclear and membrane ERα are requested to mediate full estrogen effects in the mandible of growing mice. Finally, selective activation of ERαMISS is able to exert an effect on alveolar bone but not on the cortical compartment, contrary to its protective action on femoral cortical bone. To conclude, these results highlight similarities but also specificities between effects of estrogen in long bones and in the mandible that could be of interest in therapeutic approaches to treat bone mass reduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1520-1531
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2018



ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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