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J Clin Invest. 2006 Mar;116(3):561-70.

Estrogen receptors and human disease.

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  • 1Receptor Biology Section, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709, USA.


Estrogens influence many physiological processes in mammals, including but not limited to reproduction, cardiovascular health, bone integrity, cognition, and behavior. Given this widespread role for estrogen in human physiology, it is not surprising that estrogen is also implicated in the development or progression of numerous diseases, which include but are not limited to various types of cancer (breast, ovarian, colorectal, prostate, endometrial), osteoporosis, neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, lupus erythematosus, endometriosis, and obesity. In many of these diseases, estrogen mediates its effects through the estrogen receptor (ER), which serves as the basis for many therapeutic interventions. This Review will describe diseases in which estrogen, through the ER, plays a role in the development or severity of disease.

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