The roles of estrogen and estrogen receptors in gastrointestinal disease

Oncol Lett. 2019 Dec;18(6):5673-5680. doi: 10.3892/ol.2019.10983. Epub 2019 Oct 11.


Estrogen is an important sex steroid hormone which serves an important role in the regulation of a number of biological functions, including regulating bone density, brain function, cholesterol mobilization, electrolyte balance, skin physiology, the cardiovascular system, the central nervous system and female reproductive organs. Estrogen exhibits various functions through binding to its specific receptors, estrogen receptor α, estrogen receptor β and G protein-coupled estrogen receptor 1. In recent years, researchers have demonstrated that estrogen and its receptors serve an important role in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and contribute to the progression of a number of GI diseases, including gastroesophageal reflux, esophageal cancer, peptic ulcers, gastric cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome and colon cancer. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of estrogen and its receptors in GI disease, and highlight potential avenues for the prevention and treatment of GI diseases.

Keywords: G protein-coupled estrogen receptor 1; colon cancer; esophageal cancer; estrogen; estrogen receptor α; estrogen receptor β; estrogen receptors; gastric cancer; gastroesophageal reflux disease; inflammatory bowel disease; irritable bowel syndrome; peptic ulcer disease.

Publication types

  • Review