Estrogen: A master regulator of bioenergetic systems in the brain and body

Jamaica R. Rettberg, Jia Yao, Roberta Diaz Brinton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

239 Scopus citations


Estrogen is a fundamental regulator of the metabolic system of the female brain and body. Within the brain, estrogen regulates glucose transport, aerobic glycolysis, and mitochondrial function to generate ATP. In the body, estrogen protects against adiposity, insulin resistance, and type II diabetes, and regulates energy intake and expenditure. During menopause, decline in circulating estrogen is coincident with decline in brain bioenergetics and shift towards a metabolically compromised phenotype. Compensatory bioenergetic adaptations, or lack thereof, to estrogen loss could determine risk of late-onset Alzheimer's disease. Estrogen coordinates brain and body metabolism, such that peripheral metabolic state can indicate bioenergetic status of the brain. By generating biomarker profiles that encompass peripheral metabolic changes occurring with menopause, individual risk profiles for decreased brain bioenergetics and cognitive decline can be created. Biomarker profiles could identify women at risk while also serving as indicators of efficacy of hormone therapy or other preventative interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-30
Number of pages23
JournalFrontiers in Neuroendocrinology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Adipokine
  • Adipose tissue
  • Aging
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Biomarker
  • Insulin
  • Menopause
  • Metabolism
  • Mitochondria
  • Type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems


Dive into the research topics of 'Estrogen: A master regulator of bioenergetic systems in the brain and body'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this