Estrogen Receptor as a Target for New Drug Discovery
In addition, studies on the long-term effects of estrogen deprivation have highlighted important non-reproductive functions for this hormone (Horowitz, 1993; Orimo et aL, 1993). Specifically, it has been shown that after menopause, women are at increased risk for atherosclerosis and osteoporosis, as well as undesirable climacteric effects such as mood swings and hot flushes (Edman, 1983). The rising incidence of coronary heart disease in postmenopausal women (Murabito, 1995) and the observation that over on~third of all Caucasian women are expected to experience some of the debilitating effects of osteoporosis (Horowitz, 1993) further highlight the importance of this hormone. Reintroduction of estrogen has been associated with more favorable serum lipid levels (Orimo et aL, 1993) and decreased debilitating bone resorption associated with the osteoporotic state (Horowitz, 1993). The fact that Estrogen Replacement Therapy is usually sufficient to provide relief from menopausal symptoms indicates that estrogen is the key etiologic agent in this condition.