Estrogen receptor- in the gonadotropin-releasing hormone neuron

Andrew Wolfe, Sheng Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Estrogen regulation of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neuronal activity plays a crucial role in homeostatic regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. Estrogen also coordinates a complex series of physiological changes culminating with a surge of gonadotropin secretion that triggers ovulation of a developed follicle from the ovary. The coordinated functions of estrogen ensure that the female will elaborate appropriate reproductive behaviors ultimately designed to deliver sperm to the oocyte and to provide a receptive uterine environment for the fertilized embryo. Although the effects of estrogen on GnRH neuronal function have long been proposed to be indirect due to the presumed lack of estrogen receptors in GnRH neurons, the identification of alternative estrogen signaling pathways, including estrogen receptor (ER) and membrane ERs such as GPR30, has put the focus back on estrogens effect at the level of the GnRH neuron itself. One candidate to mediate the effects of estrogen is the isoform of the estrogen receptor. We review the evidence for a role for ER-mediated regulation of GnRH neuronal function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-31
Number of pages9
JournalSeminars in reproductive medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • GnRH
  • HPG axis
  • estrogen receptor-

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Physiology (medical)


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