Cellular Mechanisms Controlling Rapid Changes in Brain Aromatase Activity

Thierry D. Charlier, Charlotte A. Cornil, Gregory F. Ball, Jacques Balthazart

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Beside their action at the genomic level, estrogens such as 17β-estradiol (E2) also activate rapid and transient cellular, physiological, and behavioral changes. Aromatase is the key limiting enzyme in the production of estrogens and the rapid modulation of this enzymatic activity could produce rapid changes in local E2 concentrations. The mechanisms that might mediate such rapid enzymatic changes are thus currently under intense scrutiny. Recent studies in our laboratory indicate that brain aromatase activity is rapidly inhibited by an increase in intracellular calcium concentration that results from potassium-induced depolarization or from the activation of glutamatergic receptors. Altogether, the phosphorylation/ dephosphorylation processes affecting aromatase activity provide a new general mechanism by which the concentration of estrogens can be rapidly altered in the brain and other tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBrain Aromatase, Estrogens, and Behavior
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199979837
ISBN (Print)9780199841196
StatePublished - Jan 24 2013


  • 17β-estradiol
  • Aromatase activity
  • Estrogen receptor alpha
  • HEK293
  • Hypothalamus
  • Japanese quail
  • Phosphorylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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  • Cite this

    Charlier, T. D., Cornil, C. A., Ball, G. F., & Balthazart, J. (2013). Cellular Mechanisms Controlling Rapid Changes in Brain Aromatase Activity. In Brain Aromatase, Estrogens, and Behavior Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199841196.003.0022