Effect of Estrogens on the Structure of Bone

  • Clayton Rich


The effects of estrogens on the bone of fowl, immature mice and immature rats are dramatic. In chicks, estrogen causes formation of new bone originating from the endosteal surfaces and eventually almost filling the marrow cavity with trabeculae (1). In normal fowl this is a cyclical phenomenon related to the estrous cycle but can be produced in cockerels by administering estrogen. A superficially similar growth of new bone, primarily in the metaphysis, but extending into the diaphysis, can be caused in mice by pharmacological doses of estrogens (2). This effect is not observed normally and the doses of estrogens used are sufficient to inhibit body growth. Simmons (3) and Uelinger (4) both have measured the uptake of triated thymadine in preosteoblasts after a flash label and found it to be significantly accelerated, indicating an increase proliferation of these cells as a result of treatment with estrogens. Testosterone appears to inhibit or reverse this action of estrogens, possibly by accelerating bone resorptive activity (5).


Bone Formation Bone Mass Bone Resorption Estrogen Deficiency Pharmacological Dose 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clayton Rich
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Medicine and Chief of Staff VA HospitalUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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