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Tissue-specific expression pattern of estrogen receptors (ER): Quantification of ERα and ERβ mRNA with real-time RT-PCR

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We have examined the tissue-specific mRNA expression of ERα and ERβ in various bovine tissues using real-time RT-PCR. The goal of this study was to evaluate the deviating tissue sensitivities and the influence of the estrogenic active preparation RALGRO on the tissue-specific expression and regulation of both ER subtypes. RALGRO contains Zeranol (α-Zearalanol), a derivative of the mycotoxin Zearalenon, shows strong estrogenic and anabolic effects, and exhibits all symptoms of hyperestrogenism, in particular reproductive and developmental disorders. Eight heifers were treated over 8 weeks with multiple-dose implantations (0×, 1×, 3×, 10×) of Zeranol. Plasma Zeranol concentration, measured by enzyme immunoassay, of multiple treated heifers was elevated. To quantify ERα and ERβ transcripts also in low-abundant tissues, sensitive and reliable real-time RT-PCR quantification methods were developed and validated on the LightCycler. Expression results indicate the existence of both ER subtypes in all 15 investigated tissues. All tissues exhibited a specific ERα and ERβ expression pattern and regulation. With increasing Zeranol concentrations, a significant downregulation of ERα mRNA expression could be observed in jejunum (p<0.001) and kidney medulla (p<0.05). These data support the hypothesis that ERβ may have different biological functions than ERα, especially in kidney and jejunum.

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Keywords: ER; estrogen treatment; expression pattern; real-time RT-PCR

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: Institute of Physiology, Research Centre for Milk and Food Weihenstephan, Technical University of Munich, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany

Publication date: 2001-05-01

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