Central effects of estradiol in the regulation of food intake, body weight, and adiposity

J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2010 Oct;122(1-3):65-73. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2009.12.005. Epub 2009 Dec 24.


In recent years, obesity and its associated health disorders and costs have increased. Accumulation of adipose tissue, or fat, in the intra-abdominal adipose depot is associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular problems, type-2 diabetes mellitus, certain cancers, and other disorders like the metabolic syndrome. Males and females differ in terms of how and where their body fat is stored, in their hormonal secretions, and in their neural responses to signals regulating weight and body fat distribution. Men and post-menopausal women accumulate more fat in their intra-abdominal depots than pre-menopausal women, resulting in a greater risk of developing complications associated with obesity. The goal of this review is to discuss the current literature on sexual dimorphisms in body weight regulation, adipose tissue accrual and deposition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Body Fat Distribution
  • Body Weight / physiology*
  • Cholecystokinin / physiology
  • Eating / physiology*
  • Estradiol / physiology*
  • Female
  • Ghrelin / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamic Hormones / physiology
  • Insulin / physiology
  • Leptin / physiology
  • Male
  • Melanins / physiology
  • Mice
  • Neuropeptide Y / physiology
  • Pituitary Hormones / physiology
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Estrogen / physiology*
  • Serotonin / physiology
  • Sex Characteristics


  • Ghrelin
  • Hypothalamic Hormones
  • Insulin
  • Leptin
  • Melanins
  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Pituitary Hormones
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Serotonin
  • Estradiol
  • melanin-concentrating hormone
  • Cholecystokinin