Estrogen as neuroprotectant of nigrostriatal dopaminergic system: laboratory and clinical studies

Endocrine. 2003 Jun;21(1):67-75. doi: 10.1385/endo:21:1:67.


In this review, we relate both laboratory and clinical evidence associated with the capacity for estrogen to function as a modulator of nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathology. To accomplish this goal, we have divided this review into three parts. In Part 1, we provide a brief historical perspective of studies that have laid the groundwork for demonstrating the existence of hormonal- nigrostriatal interactions. In Part 2, we focus specifically on laboratory data that show the ability and conditions by which estrogen may function as a neuroprotectant of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system. Finally, in Part 3, we review the clinical literature related to this issue as a means for consideration of estrogen as a modulator, neuroprotectant, and therapy for Parkinson disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Basal Ganglia Diseases / prevention & control
  • Dopamine / physiology*
  • Estrogens / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Neostriatum / cytology
  • Neostriatum / drug effects
  • Neostriatum / physiology*
  • Neuroprotective Agents*
  • Parkinson Disease / pathology
  • Parkinson Disease / prevention & control
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Substantia Nigra / cytology
  • Substantia Nigra / drug effects
  • Substantia Nigra / physiology*


  • Estrogens
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Dopamine