Author(s): Lan YL, Zhao J, Li S
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Abstract Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by memory loss and disordered cognition. Women have a higher AD incidence than men, indicating that the declining estrogen levels during menopause may influence AD pathogenesis. However, the mechanism underlying estrogen's neuroprotective effect is not fully clarified and is complicated by the presence of several distinct estrogen receptor (ER) types and the identification of a growing number of ER splice variants. Thus, a deeper analysis of ERs could elucidate the role of estrogen in age-related cognitive changes. Intracellular calcium signaling cascades play a pivotal role in ERα neuroprotection against AD. The ERα-mediated inhibition of Death domain-associated protein (Daxx) translocation and the combination of membrane ERα and caveolin in caveolae may protect against AD. Moreover, the voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC)/ERα association may be important for maintaining channel inactivation and may be relevant in neuronal preservation against Aβ injury. Additionally, ERα may prevent glutamate excitotoxic injury by Aβ through estrogen signaling mechanisms. ERα and IGF-IR co-activation may mediate neuroprotection, and many other growth factors and intracellular signaling responses triggered by ERα may also play important roles in this process. Furthermore, details regarding the genes and mRNA variants of ERα that are expressed in different parts of the human organs have been clarified recently. Therefore, here we review the literature to clarify the neuroprotective role of ERα. This review focuses on the potential mechanisms mediated by ERα in the intracellular signaling events in nervous system cells, thereby clarifying ERα-mediated protection against AD.
This article was published in J Alzheimers Dis
and referenced in Journal of Alzheimers Disease & Parkinsonism