Estrogen receptor beta and neural development

Ivan Nalvarte, Mukesh Varshney, Jose Inzunza, Jan Åke Gustafsson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


The female sex hormone estradiol (E2, 17β-estradiol) has important functions in the developing brain. In addition to regulating sexual differentiation of the brain, E2 participates in the development of brain areas involved in functions unrelated to reproduction, such as cognition. E2 signals mainly thorough two estrogen receptors; estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) and beta (ERβ). While ERα has distinct functions for sexual imprinting of the developing brain, ERβ is considered to participate in the development of brain areas related to cognitive function. In this chapter we will focus on ERβ's role during neural development. We will discuss the contributions of sex chromosomal and sex hormonal effects in this process and place it in relation to recent data on ERβ obtained from stem cell models. Finally, we will discuss the lessons learned from mouse and stem cell models in understanding ERβ's role in neural development and how new stem cell models, by addressing the human relevance, may help to advance our progress in this field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHormones and Stem Cells
EditorsGerald Litwack
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9780323855501
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Publication series

NameVitamins and hormones
ISSN (Print)0083-6729


  • Estrogen
  • Estrogen receptor beta
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Sex hormone
  • Stem cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology


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