Clinical Science


Steroid hormone receptor expression and action in bone

Rosemary BLAND


The skeleton is a complex tissue, and hormonal control of bone remodelling is elaborate. The important role that steroid hormones play in bone cell development and in the maintenance of normal bone architecture is well established, but it is only relatively recently that it has become possible to describe their precise mechanism of action. This review focuses not only on the steroid hormones (oestrogens, corticosteroids, androgens and progesterone), but also on related hormones (vitamin D, thyroid hormone and the retinoids), all of which act via structurally homologous nuclear receptors that form part of the steroid/thyroid receptor superfamily. By examining the actions of all of these hormones in vivo and in vitro, this review gives a general overview of the current understanding of steroid hormone action in bone. In addition, a comprehensive review of steroid hormone receptor expression in bone cells is included. Finally, the role that future developments, such as steroid hormone receptor knockout mice, will play in our understanding of steroid hormone action in bone is considered.

  • bone
  • osteoblast
  • receptors
  • retinoids
  • steroids
  • thyroid hormone
  • vitamin D