2020 Volume 53 Issue 5 Pages 99-111
Skin is a target for hormones and a site of hormone production. Aromatase inhibitors such as letrozole reduce circulating estrogen. The aim of the study was to investigate the morphology of the dermis and immunoexpression of androgen receptor (AR), estrogen receptor α and β (ERα, ERβ), luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR), follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR), and cytochrome P450 aromatase (P450arom) in male rats with a deficit of estradiol. Experiments were performed on skin of 12 male rats. Rats in the experimental group received per os letrozole for 6 months. For morphological analysis, van Gieson, Sirius Red and orcein staining of sections was performed. In immunohistochemistry, reactions with specific antibodies (anti-P450arom, LHR, FSHR, ERα, ERβ) were used. In morphometric analysis, sections were stained with hematoxylin and eosin. Differences between groups were assessed by Mann-Whitney U-test. There were no differences in the diameter of collagen fibers. The dermis of letrozole-treated animals showed areas without collagen fibers, and expression of P450arom, ERα and ERβ was diminished in the skin of these animals. This study indicates that estrogens exert an effect via ERs that has a role in maintaining proper skin morphology in males, together with androgen. This is also the first documented expression of FSHR in the skin of male rats.