Tamoxifen up-regulates oestrogen receptor-alpha, c-fos and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate-dehydrogenase mRNAs in ovine endometrium.
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Tamoxifen, the antiestrogen most widely used in medicine, was tested in ewes to determine whether it antagonizes oestradiol up-regulation of ER, PR, and other genes reported to be oestrogen-modulated (c-fos, oxytocin receptor (OTR), glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), and apolipoprotein AI (apo AI)) in endometrium and liver. Ovariectomized ewes (n = 6 ewes per group) were injected with 20 mg tamoxifen (Tam) 24 h prior to tissue collection, 50 microg oestradiol (E2) 18 h prior to tissue collection, both drugs (T + E2) or drug vehicle (Con). E2 treatment resulted in 857 +/- 93 pg oestradiol/g endometrium. Gross uterine characteristics of Tam- and T + E2-treated ewes were intermediate to those in Con and E2 groups. In endometrium, Tam treatment mimicked E2 treatment in up-regulating ER, c-fos, and GAPDH mRNAs two- or three-fold. However, neither E2 nor Tam treatments affected concentrations of OTR mRNA in endometrium, or ER, c-fos, GAPDH, OTR and apo AI mRNAs in liver. Like oestradiol, tamoxifen stabilized endometrial ER mRNA more than 3-fold in endometrial explants cultured with the transcription inhibitor 5,6-dichloro-1-beta-D-ribofuranosylbenzimidazole (DRB). Thus, tamoxifen acts as an oestradiol agonist in ovine endometrium and shares a posttranscriptional mechanism with oestradiol in the up-regulation of ER gene expression.