Lasofoxifene enhances vaginal mucus formation without causing hypertrophy and increases estrogen receptor [beta] and androgen receptor in rats.

Wang, X., Simmons, H. A., Salatto, C. T., Cosgrove, P. G., Thompson, D. D.
Journal   Menopause.
Analytes Measured  
Matrix Tested   Vaginal homogenates
Year   2006
Volume   13
Page Numbers   609-620
Application   Toxicology

OBJECTIVE: Lasofoxifene, a new selective estrogen-receptor modulator (SERM), shows efficacy in vaginal and vulvar atrophy in postmenopausal women. Here, we sought to explore the possible mechanisms of action for this effect in comparison with other SERMs using an immature ovariectomized rat model. DESIGN: SERMs (lasofoxifene, raloxifene, and tamoxifen) and 17alpha-ethinyl estradiol were administered orally to immature ovariectomized rats daily for 1 or 4 days. Vaginal and uterine tissues were weighed and processed for histomorphometric measurements, vaginal mucopolysaccharide staining, and immunohistochemistry of 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine and steroid receptors. Receptor quantification was determined by a novel ultrasensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method.

RESULTS: Lasofoxifene and raloxifene showed a minimal increase in vaginal and uterine weight, epithelial cell proliferation, and epithelial thickness in comparison with estradiol and tamoxifen. Lasofoxifene significantly enhanced vaginal mucus formation in a dose-dependent manner. Vaginal progesterone receptor protein was increased fivefold by estradiol and all three SERMs tested. 17alpha-Ethinyl estradiol caused a significant decrease in estrogen receptor alpha, but no change with other treatments. Only lasofoxifene significantly increased vaginal estrogen receptor beta and androgen receptor protein levels.

CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrated that lasofoxifene stimulated vaginal mucus formation without causing cell proliferation in the rat reproductive tract. These effects may be due to the increased vaginal estrogen receptor beta and androgen receptor levels. This cellular and molecular profile of lasofoxifene in the vagina may account for its efficacy in the treatment of vaginal and vulvar atrophy in postmenopausal women.

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