J. Chen, Y. Kamiya, I. Polur, M. Xu, T. Choi, Z. Kalajzic, H. Drissi, S. Wadhwa
Objective Temporomandibular joint diseases predominantly afflict women, suggesting a role for female hormones in the disease process. However, little is known about the role of estrogen receptor (ER) signaling in regulating mandibular condylar cartilage growth. Therefore, the goal of this study was to examine the effects of altered estrogen levels on the mandibular condylar cartilage in WT and ER beta KO mice.
Materials and Methods 21-day-old female WT (n=37) and ER beta KO mice (n=36) were either sham operated or ovariectomized, and treated with either placebo or estradiol. The mandibular condylar cartilage was evaluated by histomorphometry, proliferation was analyzed by double EdU/BrdU labeling, and assays on gene and protein expression of chondrocyte maturation markers were performed.
Results In WT mice, ovariectomy caused a significant increase in mandibular condylar cartilage cell numbers, a significant increase in Sox9 expression and a significant increase in proliferation compared with sham operated WT mice. In contrast, ovariectomy did not cause any of these effects in the ER beta KO mice. Estrogen replacement treatment in ovariectomized WT mice caused a significant decrease in ER alpha expression and a significant increase in Sost expression compared with ovariectomized mice treated with placebo. Estrogen replacement treatment in ovariectomized ER beta KO mice caused a significant increase in Col2 expression, no change in ER alpha expression, and a significant increase in Sost expression.
Conclusion Estrogen via ER beta inhibits proliferation and ER alpha expression while estrogen independent of ER beta induces Col2 and Sost expression.