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Estrogens and women ageing

Final Report Summary - EWA (Estrogens and Women Ageing)

The objective of the proposal was to capitalise on the European wealth of basic research in the field of sex steroid hormones action and oestrogens in particular, to generate a research team devoted to the study of the physiology of woman aging and to the identification of suitable therapies to prevent disorders associated with woman aging and the post-menopausal period.

To this aim, in the research plan we proposed to:
i.)generate cellular and animal models suitable to obtain a global view of the effects of oestrogens and estrogenic compounds in young and aged female mammals;
ii.) test the effects of long term treatment with estrogenic compounds in reproductive and non-reproductive organs;
iii.) verify the relevance of oestrogen anti-inflammatory activity in the manifestation of pathologies associated with woman aging (e.g. diabetes, neurodegeneration, development of skin ulcers).

The results of the women health initiative had a major impact on industry research on women aging and in particular on hormone replacement therapies: most of them stopped research in the field and blocked the development of the products under research. It is important to underline that the WHI study is widely recognised as biased by initial mistakes in the selection of the patients to be studied. Nevertheless, the publicity given to the study produced a major effect on women: a study born in favour of women turned out to be most unfavourable because completely blocked the development of research on women. We have now to start again and to do that we need new tools and new good research: we hope that the consortium provided some of that, but this is certainly not sufficient: we need to concentrate more of our research funds for gender physiology and aging.

The work of some of the components will continue within the European consortium CRESCENDO, we will also be very vocal with our governments and within the European scientific community to induce more research in the field and to encourage the pharmaceutical companies to re-enter the field.

Some of the tools here generated, namely the reporter mice, might have a major impact on the drug discovery process in the pharmaceutical industry: to this aim, the University of Milan and P1 started a spin-off company of the University of Milan devoted to the generation of reporter mice for preclinical research. Finally, the tools here generated may be of relevance also for the alimentary and environmental industry in particular with the research on endocrine disrupters. EWA scientist will do their best to maintain the collaboration ongoing in the future years and are planning to maintain the logo we generated and publish their results in the EWA website: