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Front. Endocrinol. | doi: 10.3389/fendo.2018.00133

Tau phosphorylation in female neurodegeneration: role of estrogens, progesterone and prolactin

  • 1Departamento de Neurobiología Celular y Molecular, Instituto de Neurobiología, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico
  • 2Unidad de Investigación Médica en Farmacología, Hospital de Especialidades, Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS), Mexico
  • 3Centro de Investigación Biomédica de Michoacán, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS), Mexico

Sex differences are important to consider when studying different psychiatric, neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). These disorders can be affected by dimorphic changes in the central nervous system (CNS), and be influenced by sex-specific hormones and neuroactive steroids. In fact, AD is more prevalent in women than in men. One of the main characteristics of AD is the formation of neurofibrillary tangles, composed of the phosphoprotein Tau, and neuronal loss in specific brain regions. The scope of this work is to review the existing evidence on how a set of hormones (estrogen, progesterone and prolactin) affects tau phosphorylation in the brain of females under both physiological and pathological conditions.

Keywords: Tau phosphorylation, estrogen, Progesterone, Prolactin, Hippocampus, Neuroprotection, neurodegenerative disease, Reproduction

Received: 13 Dec 2017; Accepted: 14 Mar 2018.

Edited by:

Alfonso Abizaid, Carleton University, Canada

Reviewed by:

Ben Nephew, Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, United States
Barbara Woodside, Concordia University, Canada  

Copyright: © 2018 Muñoz-Mayorga, Guerra-Araiza, Torner and Morales. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: PhD. Teresa Morales, Instituto de Neurobiología, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Departamento de Neurobiología Celular y Molecular, Boulevard Juriquilla # 3001, UNAM Campus Juriquilla, Juriquilla, 76230, Querétaro, Mexico,