Estrogen has been shown to influence several brain functions as well as the expression of neuropsychiatric diseases. To date, two estrogen receptor (ER) subtypes have been identified, ERalpha and ERbeta. ERalpha messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) distribution in the human forebrain was recently characterized, and the highest expression was found in restricted areas of the amygdala and hypothalamus. However, no information exists with regard to ERbeta mRNA distribution in the human brain. To this end, the anatomical distribution pattern of ERbeta mRNA expression in the human forebrain was investigated in the present study. Overall, the ERbeta mRNA hybridization signal was relatively low, but the most abundant ERbeta mRNA areas were the hippocampal formation (primarily the subiculum), claustrum, and cerebral cortex; expression was also present in the subthalamic nucleus and thalamus (ventral lateral nucleus). In contrast to ERalpha (studied on adjacent brain sections), ERbeta mRNA expression was low in the hypothalamus and amygdala. Based on the revealed anatomical distribution of the human ERbeta gene expression, a putative role for ERbeta in the modulation of cognition, memory, and motor functions is suggested.