Xenoestrogens, foreign synthetic chemicals mimicking estrogens, are lurking in our surroundings. Climate change may alter their toxicity and bioavailability. Since xenoestrogens have extremely high lipid solubility and are structurally similar to natural endogenous estrogens, they can bind to estrogen receptors (ERs) -alpha (ER-α) and -beta (ER-β). Scientific evidence accumulated over the past decades have suggested that natural 17β-estradiol (E2; a potent estrogen), via activation of its receptors, plays a pivotal role in regulation of brain development, differentiation, metabolism, synaptic plasticity, neuroprotection, cognition, anxiety, body temperature, feeding and sexual behavior. In the brain, ER-β is predominantly expressed in the various regions, including cerebral cortex and hippocampus, that have been shown to play a key role in cognition. Therefore, disturbances in function of ER-β mediated E2 signaling by xenoestrogens can lead to deleterious effects that potentiate a variety of neurological diseases starting from prenatal to post-menopause in women. The goal of this review is to identify the possible neurological effects of xenoestrogens that can alter estrogen receptor-mediated signaling in the brain during different stages of the female lifespan.
- Cerebral ischemia
- Demyelinating diseases
- Endocrine-disrupting chemicals
- Estrogen receptor- beta
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