Novel Mechanisms of Estrogen Action

  • Jan-Åke Gustafsson
Part of the Medical Science Symposia Series book series (MSSS, volume 13)


Estrogen action has long been thought to be mediated via one unique estrogen receptor. This receptor was originally discovered by Elwood Jensen who managed to synthesize estrogens with sufficiently high specific radioactivity to be used as tracers for the receptor [1]. Utilizing these radioligands Jensen could first show that estrogen target tissues like the uterus and vagina displayed a specific retention of radioactivity following administration of radiolabelled estrogens to whole animals. Later on it was demonstrated that this retention was due to the presence in these target tissues of a specific protein binding the radioligands with high affinity and low capacity. After the introduction of the technique of density gradient centrifugation to monitor the behavior of the estrogen receptor, these original contributions opened a new science on the characteristics of the estrogen receptor as well as somewhat later other members of the steroid receptor family.


Estrogen Receptor Glucocorticoid Receptor Estrogen Action Mineralocorticoid Receptor Urogenital Tract 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers and Fondazione Giovanni Lorenzini 1999

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  • Jan-Åke Gustafsson

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