Role of low levels of endogenous estrogen in regulation of bone resorption in late postmenopausal women

Hassan M. Heshmati, Sundeep Khosla, Simon P. Robins, W. Michael O'Fallon, L. Joseph Melton, B. Lawrence Riggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

162 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although median levels of bone turnover are increased in postmenopausal women, it is unclear whether the low circulating levels of endogenous estrogen exert a regulatory role on these levels. This issue was evaluated by assessing the effect of a blockade of estrogen synthesis on bone turnover markers in 42 normal women (mean age ± SD, 69 ± 5 years) randomly assigned to groups receiving the potent aromatase inhibitor letrozole or placebo for 6 months. Letrozole treatment reduced serum estrone (E1) and estradiol (E2) to near undetectable levels (p < 0.0001). This treatment did not affect bone formation markers but, as compared with the placebo group, increased bone resorption markers (urine 24-h pyridinoline [PYD] by 13.3% [p <0.05] and 24-h urine deoxypyridinoline [DPD] by 14.2% [p < 0.05] and decreased serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) by 22% (p = 0.002). These data indicate that in late postmenopausal women even the low serum estrogen levels present exert a restraining effect on bone turnover and support the concept that variations in these low levels may contribute to differences in their rate of bone loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-178
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

Keywords

  • Bone turnover
  • Estrogen
  • Postmenopausal bone loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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