Genetic rescue of nonclassical ERα signaling normalizes energy balance in obese Erα-null mutant mice

Cheryl J. Park, Zhen Zhao, Christine Glidewell-Kenney, Milos Lazic, Pierre Chambon, Andrée Krust, Jeffrey Weiss, Deborah J. Clegg, Andrea Dunaif, J. Larry Jameson, Jon E. Levine

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112 Scopus citations

Abstract

In addition to its role in reproduction, estradiol-17β is critical to the regulation of energy balance and body weight. Estrogen receptor α-null (Erα-/-) mutant mice develop an obese state characterized by decreased energy expenditure, decreased locomotion, increased adiposity, altered glucose homeostasis, and hyperleptinemia. Such features are reminiscent of the propensity of postmenopausal women to develop obesity and type 2 diabetes. The mechanisms by which ERα signaling maintains normal energy balance, however, have remained unclear. Here we used knockin mice that express mutant ERα that can only signal through the noncanonical pathway to assess the role of nonclassical ERα signaling in energy homeostasis. In these mice, we found that nonclassical ERα signaling restored metabolic parameters dysregulated in Erα-/- mutant mice to normal or near-normal values. The rescue of body weight and metabolic function by nonclassical ERα signaling was mediated by normalization of energy expenditure, including voluntary locomotor activity. These findings indicate that nonclassical ERα signaling mediates major effects of estradiol-17β on energy balance, raising the possibility that selective ERα agonists may be developed to reduce the risks of obesity and metabolic disturbances in postmenopausal women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)604-612
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Volume121
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Park, C. J., Zhao, Z., Glidewell-Kenney, C., Lazic, M., Chambon, P., Krust, A., Weiss, J., Clegg, D. J., Dunaif, A., Jameson, J. L., & Levine, J. E. (2011). Genetic rescue of nonclassical ERα signaling normalizes energy balance in obese Erα-null mutant mice. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 121(2), 604-612. https://doi.org/10.1172/JCI41702