ABSTRACT: Estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) is a nuclear receptor that regulates a range of physiological processes in response to estrogens. In order to study its biological role, we generated a floxed ERα mouse line that can be used to knock out ERα in selected tissues by using the Cre/LoxP system. In this study, we established a new ERα knockout mouse line by crossing the floxed ERα mice with Cre deleter mice. Here we show that genetic disruption of the ERα gene in all tissues results in sterility in both male and female mice. Histological examination of uterus and ovaries revealed a dramatically atrophic uterus and hemorrhagic cysts in the ovary. These results suggest that infertility in female mice is the result of functional defects of the reproductive tract. Moreover, female knockout mice are hyperglycemic, develop obesity and at the age of 4 months the body weight of these mice was more than 20% higher compared to wild type littermates and this difference increased over time. Our results demonstrate that ERα is necessary for reproductive tract development and has important functions as a regulator of metabolism in females.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 07/2012; 424(4):710-6. · 2.48 Impact Factor