Estrogen, astrocytes and the neuroendocrine control of metabolism.

TitleEstrogen, astrocytes and the neuroendocrine control of metabolism.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsFuente-Martin E, Garcia-Caceres C, Morselli E, Clegg DJ, Chowen JA, Finan B, Brinton RD, Tschöp MH
JournalRev Endocr Metab Disord
Date Published2013 Dec
KeywordsAnimals, Astrocytes, Estrogens, Humans, Hypothalamus, Metabolism, Neurosecretory Systems, Obesity, Sex Characteristics

Obesity, and its associated comorbidities such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and certain cancers, represent major health challenges. Importantly, there is a sexual dimorphism with respect to the prevalence of obesity and its associated metabolic diseases, implicating a role for gonadal hormones. Specifically, estrogens have been demonstrated to regulate metabolism perhaps by acting as a leptin mimetic in the central nervous system (CNS). CNS estrogen receptors (ERs) include ER alpha (ERα) and ER beta (ERβ), which are found in nuclear, cytoplasmic and membrane sites throughout the brain. Additionally, estrogens can bind to and activate a G protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER), which is a membrane-associated ER. ERs are expressed on neurons as well as glia, which are known to play a major role in providing nutrient supply for neurons and have recently received increasing attention for their potentially important involvement in the CNS regulation of systemic metabolism and energy balance. This brief overview summarizes data focusing on the potential role of astrocytic estrogen action as a key component of estrogenic modulation responsible for mediating the sexual dimorphism in body weight regulation and obesity.

Alternate JournalRev Endocr Metab Disord
PubMed ID24009071
PubMed Central IDPMC3825572
Grant ListP01 DK088761 / DK / NIDDK NIH HHS / United States
P50 AG005142 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG032236 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
Faculty Member Reference: 
Roberta Diaz Brinton, Ph.D