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Estrogens of multiple classes and their role in mental health disease mechanisms

Authors Watson C, Alyea RA, Cunningham KA, Jeng Y

Published 29 June 2010 Volume 2010:2 Pages 153—166


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Cheryl S Watson1, Rebecca A Alyea1, Kathryn A Cunningham2, Yow-Jiun Jeng1

1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Univ of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, USA

Abstract: Gender and sex hormones can influence a variety of mental health states, including mood, cognitive development and function, and vulnerability to neurodegenerative diseases and brain damage. Functions of neuronal cells may be altered by estrogens depending upon the availability of different physiological estrogenic ligands; these ligands and their effects vary with life stages, the genetic or postgenetic regulation of receptor levels in specific tissues, or the intercession of competing nonphysiological ligands (either intentional or unintentional, beneficial to health or not). Here we review evidence for how different estrogens (physiological and environmental/dietary), acting via different estrogen receptor subtypes residing in alternative subcellular locations, influence brain functions and behavior. We also discuss the families of receptors and transporters for monoamine neurotransmitters and how they may interact with the estrogenic signaling pathways.

Keywords: estrogen receptor α, estrogen receptor β, GPR30, GPER, xenoestrogens, phytoestrogens, transporters, brain function, neurotransmitter receptors

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