Estradiol plays essential roles in the modulation of synaptic plasticity and neuroprotection in males as well as in females, as has been shown particularly in the hippocampus. Although it has long been known that aromatase, the final enzyme in estrogen synthesis, is expressed in the hippocampus, a new paradigm emerged when it was shown that estradiol is actually synthesized de novo in this part of the brain. Increasing evidence indicates that hippocampus-derived estradiol plays a role in synaptic plasticity and neuroptrotection, rather than estradiol originating from the gonads. In recent years, a number of in vivo and in vitro studies have shown that hippocampus-derived estradiol substantially contributes to hippocampal function, in particular to structural synaptic plasticity.
- Estrogen synthesis
- Synaptic plasticity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cell Biology