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  • Cited by 5
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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Guenzel, Friederike M. Wolf, Oliver T. and Schwabe, Lars 2014. Sex differences in stress effects on response and spatial memory formation. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, Vol. 109, p. 46.

    Baudry, M. Bi, X. and Aguirre, C. 2013. Progesterone–estrogen interactions in synaptic plasticity and neuroprotection. Neuroscience, Vol. 239, p. 280.

    Tanaka, Motoki and Sokabe, Masahiro 2013. Bidirectional modulatory effect of 17β-estradiol on NMDA receptors via ERα and ERβ in the dentate gyrus of juvenile male rats. Neuropharmacology, Vol. 75, p. 262.

    Foy, Michael R. 2011. Ovarian hormones, aging and stress on hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, Vol. 95, Issue. 2, p. 134.

    Foy, Michael R. Baudry, Michel Akopian, Garnik K. and Thompson, Richard F. 2010. Hormones of the Limbic System.


Estrogen and hippocampal synaptic plasticity

  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 November 2004

During the past several years, there has been increasing interest in the effects of estrogen on neural function. This enthusiasm is driven, in part, by the results of early clinical studies suggesting that estrogen therapy given after menopause may prevent, or at least delay, the onset of Alzheimer's disease in older women. However, later clinical trials of women with probable Alzheimer's disease had contrary results. Much of the current research related to estrogen and brain function is focused in two directions. One involves clinical studies that examine the potential of estrogen in protecting against cognitive decline during normal aging and against Alzheimer's disease (neuroprotection). The other direction, which is the primary focus of this review, involves laboratory studies that examine the mechanisms by which estrogen can modify the structure of nerve cells and alter the way neurons communicate with other cells in the brain (neuroplasticity). In this review, we examine recent evidence from experimental and clinical research on the rapid effects of estrogen on several mechanisms that involve synaptic plasticity in the nervous system, including hippocampal excitability, long-term potentiation and depression related to sex and aging differences, cellular neuroprotection and probable molecular mechanisms of the action of estrogen in brain tissue.

Corresponding author
Richard F. Thompson, Keck Professor of Psychology and Biological Sciences, University of Southern California, 3641 Watt Way, HNB 522, Los Angeles, CA 90089-2520, USA. phone: +1 213 740 7350; fax: +1 213 740 5687. email:
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Neuron Glia Biology
  • ISSN: 1740-925X
  • EISSN: 1741-0533
  • URL: /core/journals/neuron-glia-biology
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