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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2015 Jan;16(1):17-29. doi: 10.1038/nrn3856. Epub 2014 Nov 26.

The neuroprotective actions of oestradiol and oestrogen receptors.

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Instituto Cajal, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, E-28002 Madrid, Spain.
Department of Cell Biology, Faculty of Biology, Universidad Complutense, E-28040 Madrid, Spain.


Hormones regulate homeostasis by communicating through the bloodstream to the body's organs, including the brain. As homeostatic regulators of brain function, some hormones exert neuroprotective actions. This is the case for the ovarian hormone 17β-oestradiol, which signals through oestrogen receptors (ERs) that are widely distributed in the male and female brain. Recent discoveries have shown that oestradiol is not only a reproductive hormone but also a brain-derived neuroprotective factor in males and females and that ERs coordinate multiple signalling mechanisms that protect the brain from neurodegenerative diseases, affective disorders and cognitive decline.

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