K C Westerlind

University of Colorado, Denver, Colorado, United States

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Publications (31)129.02 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Hispanic women are at lower risk for incident breast cancer, but the reasons for this lower risk are unknown. Among postmenopausal women, breast cancer risk is inversely associated with circulating levels of 2-hydroxyestrone but directly associated with levels of 16alpha-hydroxyestrone, according to most studies. Likewise, according to most research, the ratio of 2-hydroxyestrone/16alpha-hydroxyestrone is, therefore, inversely associated with breast cancer risk. We measured levels of these two circulating estrones as well as estradiol in 40 Hispanic women and 40 non-Hispanic white women who were all postmenopausal and not taking hormones. Compared with non-Hispanic white women, Hispanic women had 69% higher circulating levels of 2-hydroxyestrone (p = 0.04), and 10% lower levels of 16alpha-hydroxyestrone (p = 0.09). Consequentially, Hispanic women had more favorable estrogen profiles than non-Hispanic white women, with an 89% higher 2:16 ratio (p = 0.01). This finding was not substantially affected by adjustment for other breast cancer risk factors, including matching on body mass index (BMI). This ethnic difference in estrogen profile requires further research to establish whether there is a causal relationship to breast cancer risk that may, at least partially, explain why postmenopausal Hispanic women have a lower incidence of breast cancer.
    Full-text · Article · May 2009 · Journal of Women's Health
  • M Wang · B Yu · K Westerlind · R Strange · G Khan · D Patil · K Boeneman · L Hilakivi-Clarke
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    ABSTRACT: Findings in BRCA1 mutation carriers suggest that physical activity, particularly during childhood, may be linked to a reduced risk of developing breast cancer. We investigated whether physical activity at puberty alters the expression of BRCA1 and two other tumor suppressor genes--p53 and estrogen receptor (ER)-beta--in rats. In addition, the effects on ER-alpha expression, mammary proliferation and functional epithelial differentiation were investigated as markers of altered mammary cancer risk in rats exposed to regular physical activity at puberty. Female Sprague Dawley rat pups were randomized to voluntary exercise, sham-exercise control and non-manipulated control groups. Treadmill training (20-25 m/min, 15% grade, 30 min/day, 5 days/week) started on postnatal day 14 and continued through day 32. Third thoracic mammary glands (n = 5 per group and age) were obtained at days 32, 48 and 100 and assessed for changes in morphology through wholemounts, and at 100 days cell proliferation by using Ki67 staining, protein levels of ER-alpha and ER-beta by immunohistochemistry, and mRNA expression levels of BRCA1, p53, ER-alpha and ER-beta by real-time PCR. Mammary glands of rats exposed to exercise during puberty contained fewer terminal end buds (TEBs) and a higher number of differentiated alveolar buds and lobules than the sham controls. However, cell proliferation was not significantly altered among the groups. ER-alpha protein levels were significantly reduced, while ER-beta levels were increased in the mammary ducts and lobular epithelial structures of 100-day old rays which were voluntarily exercised at puberty, compared to sham controls. ER-beta, BRCA1 and p53 mRNA levels were significantly higher in the mammary glands of 100-day-old exercised versus sham control rats. Pubertal physical activity reduced mammary epithelial targets for neoplastic transformation through epithelial differentiation and it also up-regulated tumor suppressor genes BRCA1, p53 and ER-beta, and reduced ER-alpha/ER-beta ratio in the mammary gland. It remains to be determined whether the up-regulation of BRCA1, and perhaps p53, explains the protective effect of childhood physical activity against breast cancer in women who carry a germline mutation in one of the BRCA1 alleles.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2008 · Breast Cancer Research and Treatment
  • R Strange · K C Westerlind · A Ziemiecki · A-C Andres
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    ABSTRACT: During each oestrous cycle, the mammary gland is subject to changes in ovarian hormone levels. It responds with limited proliferation, differentiation and regression. To understand the processes resulting in these changes, particularly the regulation of cell death, we examined protein levels in mammary epithelium during the oestrous cycle of the Sprague-Dawley rat. Studies of serum hormone levels, vaginal smears, uterine weight and morphology, mammary gland morphology, proliferation and apoptotic indices, and protein levels during the stages of the Sprague-Dawley rat oestrous cycle were used to examine the response of mammary epithelium to the oestrous cycle. Proliferation of mammary epithelium was greater in diestrus and proestrus, while apoptosis was increased in metestrus and diestrus. Growth factor-, hormone- and anchorage-mediated cell survival signalling, indicated by activation of Stat5A, FAK and Akt 1 and expression of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members, was greater in proestrus and reduced in metestrus. In contrast, the levels of pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members and proteins associated with apoptosis in mammary epithelium (TGFbeta3, pStat3) were increased during metestrus and diestrus. Decreases in growth factor, hormone and cell attachment survival signals corresponded with increased apoptosis during the second half of the oestrous cycle. The protein levels detected during oestrus suggest parallels to apoptosis in mammary involution.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2007 · Acta Physiologica
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    K C Westerlind
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    ABSTRACT: In summary, it is well appreciated that estrogens have profound influences on numerous tissues and in the development of numerous diseases. It has become increasingly accepted that we must not only consider the parent estrogens, estradiol and estrone, when we evaluate disease risk but also the estrogen metabolites. Estrogen metabolites exert tissue-specific effects in many target cells and appear to be amenable to modulation through a variety of interventions. Their role in aging-related diseases is not well understood but the bulk of the evidence suggests that they may have important roles and should be evaluated to identify who is at risk, who would benefit from treatment and which treatment, and how serious a particular case might be.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2004 · Journal of musculoskeletal & neuronal interactions
  • K C Westerlind · H L McCarty · P C Schultheiss · R Story · AH Reed · M L Baier · R Strange
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    ABSTRACT: Adolescence and young adulthood may be critical windows in establishing risk for breast cancer development in humans. Epidemiological data suggest that exercise during this life stage is associated with decreased breast cancer risk yet few experimental studies to elucidate the mechanism have been performed. The purpose of these studies was to evaluate the effects of moderate exercise training on mammary tumour development in adolescent rats using the 1-methyl 1-nitrosourea (MNU) chemical carcinogen model. Exercise (EX) consisted of moderate-intensity treadmill running 30 min/day, 5 days a week. A total of 274 animals were used: 94 in study 1 and 180 in study 2. Animals were injected with MNU (50 and 25 mg/kg body weight in studies 1 and 2, respectively) at 21 days of age and began training at 28 days of age. Groups of animals (n=10-30 depending on the study and time point) were sacrificed every 2 weeks for 8 weeks to evaluate tumour development. No difference in median tumour-free survival time was observed in the EX versus sham-exercise (SHAM), nor were there any differences in multiplicity at either a high or moderate dose of MNU. Latency to first tumour palpated was increased in both studies by 3-4 days. Consistent across both studies, tumour weights were less and the growth rates of the tumours, defined as tumour weight divided by the number of days elapsed since the tumour was first palpated, were reduced in the EX group. The data suggest that latency is increased and tumour growth is retarded in response to moderate exercise training.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2003 · European Journal of Cancer Prevention
  • H L. McCarty · R Story · A H. Reed · G L. Evans · R T. Turner · K C. Westerlind

    No preview · Article · May 2003 · Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
  • A J. Chicco · R Hayward · C M. Schneider · R T. Turner · K C. Westerlind

    No preview · Article · May 2003 · Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
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    ABSTRACT: To analyze the association of prostate cancer risk with estrogen metabolism, expressed as the ratio of 2-hydroxyestrone (2-OHE1) to 16alpha-hydroxyestrone (16alpha-OHE1), in a case-control study conducted in Buffalo, NY, between 1998 and 2001. One hundred and thirteen men, aged 45-85 years, with incident, primary pathologically confirmed prostate cancer were enrolled in the study; 317 residence-matched controls were also enrolled. Cases were enrolled and the specimens collected before starting any therapy. To exclude latent prostate carcinomas, the present study included only patients with clinically apparent disease (stage B and higher). Prostate cancer cases and control subjects were excluded if on hormonal treatment, or affected with metabolic or endocrine diseases. Control subjects with a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) value higher than 4 ng/ml were excluded from the control group. Urine was used for the determinations of 2-OHE1 and 16alpha-OHE1. Age, race, body weight, waist-to-hip ratio, and smoking were analyzed as possible confounders. Althpugh the results were not statistically significant, elevated 2-OHE1 urinary levels suggested a reduced prostate cancer risk: men in the highest tertile had an adjusted odds ratio (OR) for prostate cancer of 0.83 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.43-1.44). Conversely, elevated 16alpha-OHE1 urinary levels were associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer: the highest tertile had an adjusted OR for prostate cancer of 1.69 (95% CI 0.93-3.06, p for linear trend = 0.02). Finally, the 2-OHE1 to 16alpha-OHE1 ratio was associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer with an OR of 0.61 (95% CI 0.33-1.15, p for linear trend = 0.04). Results of this case-control study suggest that the estrogen metabolic pathway favoring 2-hydroxylation over 16alpha-hydroxylation may reduce risk of clinically evident prostate cancer.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2003 · Cancer Causes and Control
  • K C Westerlind · H L McCarty · K J Gibson · R Strange
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    ABSTRACT: Physical activity has been associated with decreased risk for developing breast cancer yet to date, the mechanism remains unknown. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the effects of moderate exercise training on the normal mammary gland in an attempt to identify alterations or differences that might be associated with tumour inhibition. A total of 170 female Sprague-Dawley rats were randomized to baseline (n=10), exercise (EX; n=80), or sham-exercise groups (SHAM; n=80). Treadmill training (20-25 m min-1, 15% grade, 30 min day-1, 5 days week-1) was started at 28 days of age (DOA). Animals were killed at 28, 42, 56, 70 and 84 DOA. Mammary glands were evaluated by histology and immunohistochemistry. Terminal end buds (TEB), structures susceptible to carcinogenesis, were counted. Sexual maturation, estradiol and progesterone, and organ and muscle weights were also evaluated. No differences in growth, sexual maturation, or steroid hormones were observed in response to training. No difference in the number of TEBs was observed at any timepoint between EX and SHAM. Proliferation was significantly increased at 56 DOA and tended to be increased at 42 and 70 DOA in the EX animals whereas cell death was significantly increased at 70 DOA and tended to be increased at 84 DOA in the EX animals. These data suggest no difference in the number of carcinogen-susceptible structures as a result of moderate exercise. The changes in cell proliferation and apoptosis with exercise training suggest altered cell turnover that will necessitate future study particularly with relevance to carcinogenesis.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2002 · Acta Physiologica Scandinavica
  • A H. Reed · H L. McCarty · G L. Evans · R T. Turner · K C. Westerlind

    No preview · Article · May 2002 · Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
  • R Hayward · R Ruangthai · C M. Schneider · H McCarty · K Westerlind

    No preview · Article · May 2002 · Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
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    S Lotinun · K C Westerlind · R T Turner
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    ABSTRACT: 2-Hydroxyestrone (2-OHE(1)) and 16alpha-hydroxyestrone (16alpha-OHE(1)) have been reported to be risk factors for negative bone balance and breast cancer, respectively. The roles of these two metabolites of estrone as estrogen agonists or antagonists with respect to estrogen target tissues, or both, are poorly defined. The purpose of this study was to characterize metabolite and tissue-specific differences between the actions of hydroxylated estrones on selected reproductive and non-reproductive estrogen target tissues in growing rats. First, the effects of ovariectomy were determined. Ovariectomy had the expected effects, including increases in all dynamic bone measurements at the proximal tibial epiphysis, without induction of bone loss. Second, ovariectomized growing rats were continuously treated for 3 weeks with 2-OHE(1), 16alpha-OHE(1), 17beta-estradiol (E(2)), a combination of E(2) and 2-OHE(1) (E(2)+2-OHE(1)), or a combination of E(2) and 16alpha-OHE(1) (E(2)+16alpha-OHE(1)), using controlled release subcutaneous implanted pellets containing 5 mg 2-OHE(1), 5 mg 16alpha-OHE(1), 0.05 mg E(2) or placebo. E(2) reduced body weight gain and radial and longitudinal bone growth as well as indices of cancellous bone turnover, and increased serum cholesterol, uterine wet weight and epithelial cell height, and proliferative cell nuclear antigen labeling in mammary gland. The hydroxylated estrones did not alter uterine wet weight and 16alpha-OHE(1) antagonized the E(2)-stimulated increase in epithelial cell height. 2-OHE(1) had no effect on cortical bone, whereas 16alpha-OHE(1) was an estrogen agonist with respect to all cortical bone measurements. 16alpha-OHE(1) also behaved as an estrogen agonist with respect to serum cholesterol and cancellous bone measurements. 2-OHE(1) had no effect on most E(2)-regulated indices of cancellous bone growth and turnover, but was a weak estrogen agonist with respect to mineral apposition rate and bone formation rate. Neither estrogen metabolite influenced body weight gain. Third, weanling rats were treated for 1 week with vehicle, E(2) (200 microg/kg per day) or 16alpha-OHE(1) (30, 100, 300, 1000 and 3000 microg/kg per day) to confirm uterotropic effects of daily subcutaneous (s.c.) administration of 16alpha-OHE(1). 16alpha-OHE(1) increased uterine weight in a dose-response manner to values that did not differ from rats treated with E(2). We conclude that the estrogen metabolites 2-OHE(1) and 16alpha-OHE(1) have target tissue-specific biological activities which differ from one another as well as from E(2). These findings add further support to the concept that there are several classes of estrogens with distinct biological activities. Furthermore, differences in the route of administration could influence the tissue specificity of estrogen metabolites.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2001 · Journal of Endocrinology
  • R Hayward · C M. Schneider · H McCarty · K Westerlind

    No preview · Article · May 2001 · Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
  • K Westerlind · H McCarty · P Schultheiss · S Benjamin

    No preview · Article · May 2001 · Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
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    K C Westerlind · K J Gibson · G L Evans · R T Turner
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    ABSTRACT: Recent data indicate that the catechol estrogen, 2-hydroxyestrone (2-OHE(1)), has no effect on any target tissue including bone, whereas 16 alpha-hydroxyestrone (16 alpha-OHE(1)) exerts tissue-selective estrogen agonist activity. The effect of the catechol estrogen, 4-hydroxyestrone (4-OHE(1)), putatively associated with tumorigenesis, has not been studied in the skeleton. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of 4-OHE(1) on tibia, uterine and mammary gland histology and blood cholesterol in ovariectomized (OVX'd) growing rats. Ten-week-old female Sprague-Dawley rats were injected subcutaneously with 200 microg/kg BW per day with 4-OHE(1), 17 beta-estradiol (E(2)) or vehicle for three weeks. OVX resulted in uterine atrophy, increased body weight, radial bone growth and cancellous bone turnover, and hypercholesterolemia. E(2) prevented these changes with the expected exception that the subcutaneous infusion of this high dose of estrogen did not prevent the hypercholesterolemia. 4-OHE(1) prevented the increase in blood cholesterol and the increase in body weight. 4-OHE(1) appeared to have partial estrogen activity in the uterus; uterine weight and epithelial cell height were significantly greater than the OVX rats but significantly less (twofold) than the E(2) animals. Analysis of variance indicated that 4-OHE(1) slightly decreased the periosteal mineral apposition rate (P<0.05) compared with vehicle-treated rats but had no effect on double-labeled perimeter or bone formation rate. Similarly, 4-OHE(1) was a partial estrogen agonist on cancellous bone turnover. The data suggest that the catechol estrogen, 4-OHE(1), unlike 2-OHE(1), has estrogen activity. Furthermore, the profile of activity differs from that of 16 alpha-OHE(1). Our results suggest that estrogen metabolites may selectively influence estrogen-target tissues and, concomitantly, modulate estrogen-associated disease risk.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2000 · Journal of Endocrinology
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    ABSTRACT: Indirect measurements have suggested that spaceflight impairs bone elongation in rats. To test this possibility, our laboratory measured, by the fluorochrome labeling technique, bone elongation that occurred during a spaceflight experiment. The longitudinal growth rate (LGR) in the tibia of rats in spaceflight experiments (Physiological Space Experiments 1, 3, and 4 and Physiological-Anatomical Rodent Experiment 3) and in two models of skeletal unloading (hind-limb elevation and unilateral sciatic neurotomy) were calculated. The effects of an 11 day spaceflight on gene expression of cartilage matrix proteins in rat growth plates were also determined by northern analysis and are reported for the first time in this study. Measurements of longitudinal growth indicate that skeletal unloading generally did not affect LGR, regardless of age, strain, gender, duration of unloading, or method of unloading. There was, however, one exception with 34% suppression in LGR detected in slow-growing, ovariectomized rats skeletally unloaded for 8 days by hind-limb elevation. This detection of reduced LGR by hind-limb elevation is consistent with changes in steady-state mRNA levels for type II collagen (-33%) and for aggrecan (-53%) that were detected in rats unloaded by an 11 day spaceflight. The changes detected in gene expression raise concern that spaceflight may result in changes in the composition of extracellular matrix, which could have a negative impact on conversion of growth-plate cartilage into normal cancellous bone by endochondral ossification.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2000 · Bone
  • K. Westerlind

    No preview · Article · Nov 2000 · Journal of Endocrinology
  • R T Turner · L S Kidder · M Zhang · S A Harris · K C Westerlind · A Maran · T J Wronski
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    ABSTRACT: The decrease in cancellous bone formation after estrogen treatment is generally thought to be coupled with a prior decrease in bone resorption. To test the possibility that estrogen has rapid tissue-specific actions on bone metabolism, we determined the time course (1-32 h) effects of diethylstilbestrol on steady-state mRNA levels for immediate-response genes, extracellular matrix proteins, and signaling peptides in the proximal tibial metaphysis and uterus by using Northern blot and RNase protection assays. The regulation of signaling peptides by estrogen, although tissue specific, followed a similar time course in bone and uterus. The observed rapid decreases in expression of insulin-like growth factor I, a growth factor associated with bone formation; decreases in mRNA levels for bone matrix proteins; evidence for reduced bone matrix synthesis; failure to detect rapid increases in mRNA levels for signaling peptides implicated in mediating the inhibitory effects of estrogen on bone resorption (interleukin-1 and -6) as well as other cytokines that can increase bone resorption; and the comparatively long duration of the bone remodeling cycle in rats indicate that estrogen can decrease bone formation by a mechanism that does not require a prior reduction in bone resorption.
    No preview · Article · Jul 1999 · Journal of Applied Physiology
  • K C Westerlind · K J Gibson · P Wolfe
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    ABSTRACT: It has been proposed that the ratio of two estrogen metabolites, 2-hydroxyestrone (2-OHE1) and 16alpha-hydroxyestrone (16alpha-OHE1), may represent a marker to predict a woman's risk for developing breast cancer and other estrogen-related disease. The present studies evaluated the potential confounders of type of sample, diurnal rhythm, menstrual cycle phase, and menopausal status on the ratio of 2/16alpha-OHE1 using an urine-based monoclonal antibody enzyme immunoassay. Two initial studies to compare a 24-h urine collection with a first-morning void and to evaluate diurnal variation were performed. Subsequently, urine samples were collected every other day for 2 months from five premenopausal subjects to assess the impact of the menstrual cycle. Spot urine samples were then obtained from a total of 67 pre, peri-, early post-, and late post-menopausal women to assess the effect of menopausal status. No significant difference in the ratio of 2/16alpha-OHE1 was found between a 24-h and first-morning void or over a 24-h period. No significant difference in the mean ratio of 2/16alpha-OHE1 was found with the menstrual phase. Intra-individual variability was observed in the ratio of 2/16alpha-OHE1, which was attributable to small fluctuations in the small denominator, 16alpha-OHE1. No difference in the ratio of 2/16alpha-OHE1 was observed in groups of women of different menopausal status. The data suggest that a first-morning void is representative of a 24-h collection and that the 2/16alpha-OHE1 ratio is constant throughout a 24-h period. Moreover, menstrual phase and menopausal status do not appear to significantly influence the ratio of 2/16alpha-OHE1.
    No preview · Article · Apr 1999 · Steroids
  • K C Westerlind · J D Fluckey · S E Gordon · W J Kraemer · PA Farrell · R T Turner
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    ABSTRACT: The effect of resistance training on tibial cancellous and cortical bone was evaluated in rats by using static histomorphometry and Northern analysis. Five-month-old male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to exercise (Ex; n = 8) or control (Con; n = 4) groups. Animals were operantly conditioned to press two levers, facilitating full extension and flexion of the hindlimbs ("squats"), while wearing an unweighted vest. After an 8-wk familiarization period, Ex animals performed 3 sessions/wk for 17-19 sessions with progressively increased amounts of weight applied to the vest. Con rats completed the same exercise protocol without applied resistance. No difference in cross-sectional, medullary, or cortical bone area was observed between Ex and Con rats in the tibial diaphysis. In contrast, the cancellous bone area in the proximal tibial metaphysis was significantly larger in trained rats. Trabecular number, trabecular thickness, and the percentage of cancellous bone covered by osteoid were significantly greater in the Ex animals compared with Con animals. In addition, steady-state mRNA levels for osteocalcin for the Ex group were 456% those expressed in the Con group. The data demonstrate that resistance training increases cancellous bone area in sexually mature male rats and suggest that it does so, in part, by stimulating bone formation.
    No preview · Article · Mar 1998 · Journal of Applied Physiology

Publication Stats

682 Citations
129.02 Total Impact Points


  • 2009
    • University of Colorado
      Denver, Colorado, United States
  • 1995-2003
    • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
      • Prevention Center
      Seattle, Washington, United States
  • 2000
    • Mayo Clinic - Rochester
      • Department of Orthopedics
      Rochester, Minnesota, United States