Gonadal steroids and astroglial plasticity

L. M. Garcia-Segura, J. A. Chowen, M. Dueñas, A. Parducz, F. Naftolin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)


1. Recent evidence indicates that astroglia participate in the metabolism of gonadal hormones, in the synthesis of neurosteroids, and in the plastic responses of neurons to gonadal steroids. The role of astroglia on plastic responses of neural tissue to gonadal hormones and neurosteroids is examined in this review. 2. Gonadal steroids and neurosteroids promote astroglia plasticity in several areas of the central nervous system, including the hypothalamus, the striatum, and the hippocampus. 3. Gonadal steroids and neurosteroids modulate astroglia proliferation and the formation of reactive astroglia after brain injury. 4. Astroglia is a source of trophic factors that may mediate effects of gonadal steroids on neural tissue. 5. Astroglia is involved in the promotion of synaptic plastic changes by gonadal hormones. 6. The effect of gonadal hormones on astroglial plasticity is dependent on specific membrane interactions with neurons and on the expression of the embryonic highly polysialylated isoform of the neural cell adhesion molecule on neuronal membranes. 7. In conclusion, coordinated responses of neurons and astroglia appear to be involved in the modulation of neural function and response to injury by gonadal hormones and neurosteroids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-237
Number of pages13
JournalCellular and Molecular Neurobiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1996



  • Dehydroepiandrosterone
  • Estradiol
  • Glial fibrillary acidic protein
  • Insulin-like growth factor I
  • Neural cell adhesion molecule
  • Neurosteroids
  • Pregnenolone
  • Progesterone
  • Reactive astroglia
  • Synaptic plasticity
  • Testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Garcia-Segura, L. M., Chowen, J. A., Dueñas, M., Parducz, A., & Naftolin, F. (1996). Gonadal steroids and astroglial plasticity. Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, 16(2), 225-237. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02088178