Estrogen interacts with glucocorticoids in the regulation of lipocalin 2 expression in human adipose tissue. Reciprocal roles of estrogen receptor α and β in insulin resistance?


Department of Medical Sciences, Clinical Diabetes and Metabolism, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. Electronic address: [Email]


The adipokine lipocalin 2 (LCN2) is linked to insulin resistance. Its expression in human adipose tissue (AT) can be regulated in a sex-specific manner by a synthetic glucocorticoid, dexamethasone, suggesting an underlying role of sex steroids. We show that 17-β-estradiol (E2) dose-dependently increased LCN2 gene expression in subcutaneous AT from postmenopausal women. This was also seen in the presence of estrogen receptor (ER) α antagonist alone but not with ERβ antagonist, suggesting that E2 effects on LCN2 are mediated via ERβ pathway. Dexamethasone alone or E2+dexamethasone had no significant effect on LCN2. However, E2+dexamethasone increased LCN2 expression with ERα-blockade. Dexamethasone reduced ERα but increased ERβ expression. Dexamethasone can regulate LCN2 expression via inhibition of ERα and stimulation of ERβ and may contribute to the development of glucocorticoid-induced insulin resistance in human AT. In conclusion, ERβ and ERα pathways have opposite effects on LCN2 expression and they interact with glucocorticoid action.


Estrogen,Glucocorticoids,Human adipose tissue,Lipocalin2,

OUR Recent Articles