What is it about?

The fasciae can modify their structure under hormonal stimulation: when β-estradiol levels are low, fascial tissue becomes enriched in collagen-I (from 5.2% of control sample to 8.4%), with a parallel decrease in collagen-III (from 2.4% to 1.5%) and elastic fibres (from 0.5% to 0.2%). Consequently, the tissue becomes less elastic and more rigid, something that normally occurs during menopause. Conversely, when hormone levels are high, as they normally are during the ovulatory peak or during pregnancy, the opposite takes place: collagen-III rises to 6.8% during ovulation and 6.7% during pregnancy as does Fibrillin-1 (from 0.2% in menopause to 3.6% during pregnancy) while collagen-I falls to 1.9%. The result is softer, more elastic tissue.

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Why is it important?

It is recognized that women suffer from myofascial pain to a greater extent than men. This work permits a first step in our understanding of how some hormonal dysfunctions in women can cause a dysregulation of extracellular matrix production in fasciae.

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This page is a summary of: Sensitivity of the fasciae to sex hormone levels: Modulation of collagen-I, collagen-III and fibrillin production, PLoS ONE, September 2019, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0223195.
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