G-Protein-Coupled Estrogen Receptor (GPER) and Sex-Specific Metabolic Homeostasis.
Obesity and metabolic syndrome display disparate prevalence and regulation between males and females. Human, as well as rodent, females with regular menstrual/estrous cycles exhibit protection from weight gain and associated chronic diseases. These beneficial effects are predominantly attributed to the female hormone estrogen, specifically 17β-estradiol (E2). E2 exerts its actions via multiple receptors, nuclear and extranuclear estrogen receptor (ER) α and ERβ, and the G-protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER, previously termed GPR30). The roles of GPER in metabolic homeostasis are beginning to emerge but are complex and remain unclear. The discovery of GPER-selective pharmacological agents (agonists and antagonists) and the availability of GPER knockout mice have significantly enhanced our understanding of the functions of GPER in normal physiology and disease. GPER action manifests pleiotropic effects in metabolically active tissues such as the pancreas, adipose, liver, and skeletal muscle. Cellular and animal studies have established that GPER is involved in the regulation of body weight, feeding behavior, inflammation, as well as glucose and lipid homeostasis. GPER deficiency leads to increased adiposity, insulin resistance, and metabolic dysfunction in mice. In contrast, pharmacologic stimulation of GPER in vivo limits weight gain and improves metabolic output, revealing a promising novel therapeutic potential for the treatment of obesity and diabetes.