Neuroprotection in Cerebral Cortex Induced by the Pregnancy Hormone Estriol

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In multiple sclerosis (MS), demyelination occurs in the cerebral cortex, and cerebral cortex atrophy correlates with clinical disabilities. Treatments are needed in MS to induce remyelination. Pregnancy is protective in MS. Estriol is made by the fetoplacental unit, and maternal serum estriol levels temporally align with fetal myelination. Here, we determined the effect of estriol treatment on the cerebral cortex in the preclinical model of MS, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Estriol treatment initiated after disease onset decreased cerebral cortex atrophy. Neuropathology of the cerebral cortex showed increased cholesterol synthesis proteins in oligodendrocytes, more newly formed remyelinating oligodendrocytes, and increased myelin in estriol-treated EAE mice. Estriol treatment also decreased the loss of cortical layer V pyramidal neurons and their apical dendrites and preserved synapses. Together, estriol treatment after EAE onset reduced atrophy and was neuroprotective in the cerebral cortex.




Meyer, C. E., Smith, A. W., Padilla-Requerey, A. A., Farkhondeh, V., Itoh, N., Itoh, Y., … MacKenzie-Graham, A. (2023). Neuroprotection in Cerebral Cortex Induced by the Pregnancy Hormone Estriol. Laboratory Investigation; a Journal of Technical Methods and Pathology, 103(8), 100189.

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