The Effect of Estrogen on Type 2 Collagen Levels in the Joint Cartilage of Post-Menopausal Murine Subjects
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Cartilage degradation frequently occurs during the postmenopausal period due to a decrease in type 2 collagen and constitutes a condition affected by the level of estrogen in the body. The purpose of this study is to prove that such post- menopausal reductions in estrogen levels influence the type 2 collagen expression in cartilage. Oophorectomies were per- formed on 54 Rattus norvegicus subjects and each of which was subsequently assigned to one of six different groups. 17?-estradiol present in the blood of the subjects was examined by means of ELISA technique, while the expression of MMP-13 and type 2 collagen in their knee joint cartilage was assessed immunohistochemically. A significant post-oopho- rectomy decrease of 17?-estradiol was detected in subjects (p<0.05), while the expression of MMP-13 increased apprecia- bly (p<0.05) and a marked decrease in type 2 collagen expression occurred (p<0.05). The reduction in 17?-estradiol pro- moted an increase in the expression of MMP-13 and a decrease in type 2 collagen expression.