Effect of estrogen-serotonin interactions on mood and cognition

Behav Cogn Neurosci Rev. 2005 Mar;4(1):43-58. doi: 10.1177/1534582305277152.


Both the neurotransmitter serotonin and the ovarian steroid estrogen have been implicated in the modulation of mood and cognition. Although significant functional interactions between estrogen and serotonin are acknowledged, the nature of their relationship has not been fully elucidated. Research using ovariectomized animals has identified estrogen-induced changes in serotonin transmission, binding, and metabolism in brain regions implicated in the regulation of affect and cognition. Studies in humans, particularly of menopausal women undergoing estrogen treatment, have provided some support for these findings and identified instances in which change in mood or cognition is accompanied by alterations in serotonin function and hormonal status. However, it is apparent that further research is required to understand the neural processes involved in the interplay between estrogen and serotonin. By reviewing animal and human data regarding estrogen and serotonin's effects on mood and cognition, the authors aim to better define their relationship and highlight areas for further research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Affect / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Estrogens / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Serotonin / physiology*


  • Estrogens
  • Serotonin