Catecholestrogens excretion in smoking and non-smoking postmenopausal women receiving estrogen replacement therapy

J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2000 Mar;72(3-4):143-7. doi: 10.1016/s0960-0760(00)00038-8.


Estrogens are involved in the etiology of breast cancer. Their blastomogenic influence may be partly realized through their conversion into catecholestrogens, rate of which may be modified by smoking. The risk of having breast cancer diagnosed can increase in women using estrogen replacement therapy (ERT). The principal aim of this investigation was to compare the excretion of classical estrogens and catecholestrogens in smoking and non-smoking postmenopausal women receiving Progynova (estradiol valerate, 2 mg/day, 1 month). Total 16 women were studied before and after treatment. Urinary estrogen profile method based on isotope dilution capillary gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was used. Before ERT, significantly lower excretion of 16-epiestriol and 4-hydroxyestrone (4-OHE1) and lower ratio of 4-OHE1/E1 were revealed in smokers. After ERT, much higher excretion of 2-OHE1, and 4-hydroxyestradiol (4-OHE2), higher ratios of 2-OHE1/E1 and 4-OHE1/E1 and lower ratio of 2-methoxyestrone/2-OHE1 were discovered in smokers as compared to non-smoking women. In conclusion only combination of ERT + smoking and not smoking itself leads to the specific prevalence of catecholestrogens (2-OH- and carcinogenic and DNA-damaging 4-OH-metabolites) that may increase risk of genotoxic variant of hormone-induced breast carcinogenesis without influence on the total morbidity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / etiology
  • DNA Damage
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy* / adverse effects
  • Estrogens, Catechol / urine*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Menopause / urine*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / etiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / urine*


  • Estrogens, Catechol