Letter | Published:

Metabolism of Oestrone and Oestradiol-17β in Human Liver in vitro

Naturevolume 212page76 (1966) | Download Citation



SINCE the discovery of the so-called “newer” oestrogens by Marrian et al. and by Gallagher and Fishman et al.1, much work has been directed towards an explanation of their intermediary metabolism in human liver tissue2. In contrast, little information is available on the metabolism of the three “classical” oestrogens—oestrone, oestradiol-17β and oestriol—in human liver in vitro. Thus, Ryan and Engel3 found a reversible transmutation of oestrone and oestradiol-17β in human liver tissue slices; Engel et al.4 reported the formation of oestriol, 16-epi-oestriol and oestrone after incubation of oestradiol-17β by human foetal liver, and Breuer et al.5, using a similar system, identified 6-hydroxyoestradiol-17β and oestriol as metabolites of oestradiol-17β. In view of the significance of oestrone and oestradiol-17β as precursors of the “newer” oestrogens, it seemed that a more intensive search for the metabolites of the two oestrogens in human liver tissue was justified. Accordingly, the present investigation was undertaken.

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  1. 1

    Breuer, H., Res. on Steroids, 1, 133 (1964).

  2. 2

    Breuer, H., Vit. and Horm., 20, 285 (1962).

  3. 3

    Ryan, J. K., and Engel, L. L., Endocrinology, 52, 287 (1953).

  4. 4

    Engel, L. L., Baggett, B., and Halla, M., Endocrinology, 70, 907 (1962).

  5. 5

    Breuer, H., Knuppen, R., Ortlepp, R., Pangels, G., and Puck, A., Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 40, 560 (1960).

  6. 6

    Marrian, G. F., and Sneddon, A., Biochem. J., 74, 430 (1960).

  7. 7

    Knuppen, R., Haupt, O., and Breuer, H., Biochem. J., 96, 33c (1965).

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  1. Chemische Abteilung, Chirurgische Universitätsklinik, Bonn-Venusberg, West Germany

    • H. BREUER
    • , R. KNUPPEN


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