Strong Bones via Tailored Hormones

Science's STKE  29 Oct 2002:
Vol. 2002, Issue 156, pp. tw397-TW397
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2002.156.tw397

Interest in alternative preventive strategies against bone loss has intensified in light of the recent announcement of risks associated with hormone replacement therapy. Previous cell culture studies showed that estrogen and androgen protect bone through a mechanism distinct from the DNA-mediated mechanism underlying their effects on reproductive organs. Kousteni et al. now show that a synthetic compound (estren) that mimics these "nongenotropic" effects can increase bone mass in estrogen- or androgen-deficient mice without adverse effects on reproductive organs.

S. Kousteni, J.-R. Chen, T. Bellido, L. Han, A. A. Ali, C. A. O'Brien, L. Plotkin, Q. Fu, A. T. Mancino, Y. Wen, A. M. Vertino, C. C. Powers, S. A. Stewart, R. Ebert, A. M. Parfitt, R. S. Weinstein, R. L. Jilka, S. C. Manolagas, Reversal of bone loss in mice by nongenotropic signaling of sex steroids. Science 298, 843-846 (2002). [Abstract] [Full Text]