Estrogen Signaling in Arcuate Kiss1 Neurons Suppresses a Sex-Dependent Circuit That Promotes Dense Strong Bones in Female Mice

Candice B. Herber, William C. Krause, Liping Wang, James R. Bayrer, Alfred Li, Matthew Schmitz, Aaron Fields, Breanna Ford, Michelle S. Reid, Daniel K Nomura, Robert A. Nissenson, Stephanie M. Correa and Holly A. Ingraham

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Received: 15th May 18

Central estrogen signaling coordinates energy expenditure, reproduction, and in concert with peripheral estrogen impacts skeletal homeostasis in female rodents. Here, we ablate estrogen receptor alpha (ERa) in the medial basal hypothalamus and find a robust bone phenotype only in female mice that results in exceptionally strong trabecular and cortical bones, whose density surpasses other reported mouse models. Stereotaxic guided deletion of ERa in the arcuate nucleus increases bone mass in both intact and estrogen-depleted females, confirming the central role of estrogen signaling in this sex-dependent bone phenotype. Loss of ERa activity in kisspeptin (Kiss1)-expressing cells is sufficient to recapitulate the bone phenotype, identifying Kiss1 neurons as a critical node in this powerful neuroskeletal circuit. We propose that this newly identified female brain-to-bone pathway exists as a homeostatic regulator to divert calcium and energy stores from bone building when energetic demands are high. Our work reveals a previously unknown target for the treatment of age-related bone disease.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

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