Investigating the efforts of cross-sex hormone therapy on bone during puberty and adulthood

Project Details

It is well established that the male sex hormone, testosterone, and the female sex hormone, estrogen, have profound effects on bone health both during growth and in adulthood in both males and females, however their precise actions are poorly understood.

Transgender individuals receive cross-sex hormones to aid in their transition to their identified gender and to improve their gender dysphoria with females transitioning to males receiving the male sex hormone, testosterone and males transitioning to females receiving estradiol. We know that this treatment with cross-sex hormones can cause permanent, detrimental effects on bone and as such puts these individuals at significant risk of bone disease in later life. However, despite this, transgender health is a neglected area and rigorously designed and executed controlled studies to guide safe and effective hormone therapy are lacking for this growing sector of society.

In this study, we will use pre-clinical models to mirror as precisely as possible, transgender individuals undergoing cross-sex hormone therapy in adolescence or in adulthood. This will allow us to study the microscopic changes controlling bone strength and health which cannot be studied in humans in the absence of a bone biopsy.



Melbourne Research Scholarship - Tian Nie

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