Review Special Issues

Neuroimmunomodulation by estrogen in health and disease

  • Received: 28 July 2020 Accepted: 27 October 2020 Published: 30 October 2020
  • Systemic homeostasis is maintained by the robust bidirectional regulation of the neuroendocrine-immune network by the active involvement of neural, endocrine and immune mediators. Throughout female reproductive life, gonadal hormones undergo cyclic variations and mediate concomitant modulations of the neuroendocrine-immune network. Dysregulation of the neuroendocrine-immune network occurs during aging as a cumulative effect of declining neural, endocrine and immune functions and loss of compensatory mechanisms including antioxidant enzymes, growth factors and co-factors. This leads to disruption of homeostasis and sets the stage for the development of female-specific age-associated diseases such as autoimmunity, osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases and hormone-dependent cancers. Ovarian hormones especially estrogen, play a key role in the maintenance of health and homeostasis by modulating the nervous, endocrine and immune functions and thereby altering neuroendocrine-immune homeostasis. Immunologically estrogen's role in the modulation of Th1/Th2 immune functions and contributing to pro-inflammatory conditions and autoimmunity has been widely studied. Centrally, hypothalamic and pituitary hormones influence gonadal hormone secretion in murine models during onset of estrous cycles and are implicated in reproductive aging-associated acyclicity. Loss of estrogen affects neuronal plasticity and the ensuing decline in cognitive functions during reproductive aging in females implicates estrogen in the incidence and progression of neurodegenerative diseases. Peripherally, sympathetic noradrenergic (NA) innervations of lymphoid organs and the presence of both adrenergic (AR) and estrogen receptors (ER) on lymphocytes poise estrogen as a potent neuroimmunomodulator during health and disease. Cyclic variations in estrogen levels throughout reproductive life, perimenopausal surge in estrogen levels followed by its precipitous decline, concomitant with decline in central hypothalamic catecholaminergic activity, peripheral sympathetic NA innervation and associated immunosuppression present an interesting study to explore female-specific age-associated diseases in a new light.

    Citation: Hannah P Priyanka, Rahul S Nair. Neuroimmunomodulation by estrogen in health and disease[J]. AIMS Neuroscience, 2020, 7(4): 401-417. doi: 10.3934/Neuroscience.2020025

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  • Systemic homeostasis is maintained by the robust bidirectional regulation of the neuroendocrine-immune network by the active involvement of neural, endocrine and immune mediators. Throughout female reproductive life, gonadal hormones undergo cyclic variations and mediate concomitant modulations of the neuroendocrine-immune network. Dysregulation of the neuroendocrine-immune network occurs during aging as a cumulative effect of declining neural, endocrine and immune functions and loss of compensatory mechanisms including antioxidant enzymes, growth factors and co-factors. This leads to disruption of homeostasis and sets the stage for the development of female-specific age-associated diseases such as autoimmunity, osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases and hormone-dependent cancers. Ovarian hormones especially estrogen, play a key role in the maintenance of health and homeostasis by modulating the nervous, endocrine and immune functions and thereby altering neuroendocrine-immune homeostasis. Immunologically estrogen's role in the modulation of Th1/Th2 immune functions and contributing to pro-inflammatory conditions and autoimmunity has been widely studied. Centrally, hypothalamic and pituitary hormones influence gonadal hormone secretion in murine models during onset of estrous cycles and are implicated in reproductive aging-associated acyclicity. Loss of estrogen affects neuronal plasticity and the ensuing decline in cognitive functions during reproductive aging in females implicates estrogen in the incidence and progression of neurodegenerative diseases. Peripherally, sympathetic noradrenergic (NA) innervations of lymphoid organs and the presence of both adrenergic (AR) and estrogen receptors (ER) on lymphocytes poise estrogen as a potent neuroimmunomodulator during health and disease. Cyclic variations in estrogen levels throughout reproductive life, perimenopausal surge in estrogen levels followed by its precipitous decline, concomitant with decline in central hypothalamic catecholaminergic activity, peripheral sympathetic NA innervation and associated immunosuppression present an interesting study to explore female-specific age-associated diseases in a new light.


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    Acknowledgment



    Supported by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, New Delhi under the Inspire Faculty Award Scheme of AORC (IFA15/LSBM-154).

    Conflict of interest



    The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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