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Estrogen Regulation of Muscle Apoptosis (ERMA-study)

Estrogen Regulation of Muscle Apoptosis (ERMA-study)

Female steroid hormone mediated regulation of apoptosis as a mechanism of muscle aging and sarcopenia

ERMA-study investigates the estrogen and hormonal aging regulated apoptosis in skeletal muscle. Specifically this study focuses on estrogen- and miR-21-mediated regulation of apoptotic Fas/FasL and Bcl-2/Bax systems and their interactions with IGF-1/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway in skeletal muscle. The subject is important since it delivers novel information on the possible mechanisms underlying aging–related muscle wasting, weakness and fattiness. Study uses experimental animals to model systemic estrogen deprivation, transgenic ERalphaKO mice to investigate ERalpha-dependency of the mechanisms, cross-sectional human study with 48-54-yrs-old women to understand how menopausal transition stage differs from pre- and postmenopausal stages and follow-up study with women on menopausal transition over their final menstrual period to study the effects of estrogen withdrawal on muscle condition from cellular mechanisms to physiological changes.


Academy of Finland 2014-2018

Research group

Principal investigator

Vuokko Kovanen,  vuokko.kovanen[at], Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä

Senior researchers

Professor Sarianna Sipilä, sarianna.sipilä[at], Gerontology Research Center, Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä

Chief Clinician Pauliina Aukee, MD, Central Finland Central Hospital

Docent Eija Pöllänen, eija.pollanen[at], Gerontology Research Center Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä


Professor Dawn Lowe, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation University of Minnesota, United States,

Postdoctoral researchers: To be named

Doctoral students:  To be named

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