About this Research Topic
Neuroprotection by estrogen against neurological disorders has been the focus of research for more than two decades. There is considerable evidence demonstrating the neuroprotective role of estrogen and its receptor signaling in several neurological disorders’ models such as Parkinson´s, Alzheimer´s, and both in vitro and in vivo cerebral ischemia. In the central nervous system, estrogen exerts pleiotropic effects preventing neuronal loss and function, thus promoting neuronal survival as well as preserving higher cognitive function such as learning and memory.
Although findings from human studies remain controversial, the bulk of experimental evidence suggests that estrogen plays a role in slowing and preventing neurodegenerative diseases. However, clinical trials‘ data so far are shedding light on concerning adverse effects of estrogen replacement, such as increase in the incidence of stroke in postmenopausal women after hormone-replacement therapy and increased risks of breast and ovarian cancer. Moreover, there have been recent advances related to the impact of estrogen on epigenetic remodeling.
Neuroprotective effects of estrogen in neurodegenerative disease and cerebral ischemia models are reported in many published reviews but these do not provide information about their detrimental effects and the corresponding mechanisms. The discrepancy between clinical and pre-clinical outcomes could be due to the translational capacity of the research in neurological disorders. The present situation highlights the value of animal studies in answering questions about the efficacy of estrogen treatment in diminishing neurodegeneration-induced neuronal damage and related cognitive impairment. The development of neurological disorders' models that replicate clinical conditions is critical for the reassessment of estrogen treatment in these diseases, which may provide useful knowledge for prospective clinical trials.
The aim of this Research Topic is to understand the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms, in neurons and glial cells, of protective and/or adverse effects of estrogen. We are seeking manuscripts addressing potential preventive, curative, or deleterious effects of estrogen in the treatment of disease, in order to establish whether estrogen can be considered as a therapeutic tool to reduce the progression and impact of neurodegenerative diseases.
Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Recent advances related to the impact of estrogen on neurogenesis
• Recent advances related to the impact of estrogen on epigenetic remodeling
• Recent advances related to the impact of estrogen in inflammation
• Development and application of neurological disorder models which replicate, more faithfully, the clinical conditions and the effect of estrogen on cells
• Research about the critical period and biomarkers window as well as clinically relevant factors associated with estrogen
Keywords: Estrogen, Neurodegenerative diseases, Cerebral ischemia, Neuroprotection, Pre-clinical studies, Mechanisms of action
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.