Effects of Declining Estrogen on Postmenopausal Women’s Muscles


University of Minnesota researchers, partnering with colleagues at institutions around the US and in Finland, have shown that declining estrogen levels in post-menopausal women inhibits their ability to maintain and build muscles. Cells known as satellite cells, which are necessary for muscle tissue to build and repair itself, need estrogen to stay healthy. The researchers also found that a drug called BZA seems to mimic the benefits of estradiol, the major form of human estrogen, without having the health risks of estrogen-replacement therapy.

An article about this research can be found on the OVPR’s Inquiry blog: Making Muscle After Menopause.

MSI PIs Michael Kyba (professor, Pediatrics) and Dawn Lowe (professor, Rehabilitation Medicine) are senior authors on this paper, which was published in the journal Cell Reports: Estrogen Regulates the Satellite Cell Compartment in Females.

Professor Kyba’s group uses MSI for research into stem cell self-renewal and differentiation, which encompasses the studies of diseases, especially facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy. Professor Lowe uses MSI for studies of molecular and cellular regenerative details mediated by sex hormones and their effects on muscles.