Age-related increase in estrogen may be the culprit of inguinal hernia, a condition common among older men, which often requires corrective surgery, according to a study of the North-Western medicine was published on October 15 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
A study conducted by Dr. Serdar Bulun, chairman and professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology. John J.. Skyarry School of the University of the North University of Medicine. Feinberg found that the lower abdominal muscles in a mouse model are especially sensitive to estrogen, developing scar tissue in response to increasing levels of estrogen, which weakens the abdominal wall and eventually cause a hernia.
When researchers reduced estrogen to the drug compound, it prevents hernia, offering preventive therapy with the potential in people.
"It may make sense to treat people with an increased risk with an aromatase inhibitor, which may decrease estrogen and strengthen the muscles," - said Bulun, also a member of the Clinical Research Center Robert Lurie Northwestern University.
Inguinal hernias occur when the tissue, such as the intestines, protrudes through the inguinal canal. These hernias are the most common reason why men go operation. According to the Food and Drug Administration, it is held annually more than 700 000 operations on restoration of inguinal hernia in the United States. While the chances of earning an inguinal hernia increases with the age of the men, the root cause remains unknown.
Another consequence of aging in men is that a large proportion of the testosterone is converted into estrogen - a hormone called aromatase.
Bulun, whose main research interests include breast cancer and gynecology, studied the effects of high estrogen in male mice. One experiment involved raising the level of estrogen by the inclusion of the human aromatase gene in the mouse genome, creating mice that have converts testosterone to estrogen throughout the body.
Bulun mice examined, finding large fibroblasts strip - scar tissue - developing a small muscular sphincter, a structure similar to the inguinal canal in humans.
"We realized that the lower abdominal muscles are extremely sensitive to estrogen," - Bulun said. "Estrogen causes the fibroblasts to decompose quickly, much faster than the muscle cells."
Fibroblast Spreading weakens the integrity of the sphincter and ultimately giving way, causing a hernia. When the researchers gave the mice a drug that blocked aromatase and, consequently, the conversion of testosterone to estrogen, hernia stopped, pointing to the estrogen as a cause and indicating potential therapy with an aromatase inhibitor, which may be able to avoid surgery in patients at risk, Bulun said.
Patients with a high risk of hernia often have common factors, such as age or genetics.
"If you want to remove a hernia for the second time, the chances of success will be reduced," - Bulun said. "If there is a recurring event, you can supplement the surgical treatment of the patient's medication."
Currently he is working with Dr. Bulun Shtulbergom Jonah, assistant professor of surgery at the Feinberg and co-author of the current study, for the development of clinical trials, which will test the effectiveness of an aromatase inhibitor in humans.