Estrogen has been shown to influence several brain functions as well as the expression of neuropsychiatric diseases. To date, two estrogen receptor (ER) subtypes have been identified, ERα and ERβ. ERα messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) distribution in the human forebrain was recently characterized, and the highest expression was found in restricted areas of the amygdala and hypothalamus. However, no information exists with regard to ERβ mRNA distribution in the human brain. To this end, the anatomical distribution pattern of ERβ mRNA expression in the human forebrain was investigated in the present study. Overall, the ERβ mRNA hybridization signal was relatively low, but the most abundant ERβ mRNA areas were the hippocampal formation (primarily the subiculum), claustrum, and cerebral cortex; expression was also present in the subthalamic nucleus and thalamus (ventral lateral nucleus). In contrast to ERα (studied on adjacent brain sections), ERβ mRNA expression was low in the hypothalamus and amygdala. Based on the revealed anatomical distribution of the human ERβ gene expression, a putative role for ERβ in the modulation of cognition, memory, and motor functions is suggested.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical